Part of the fun of being a professional athlete is traveling to cities around the world for competitions. However, many sportsmen struggle with what to bring with them when the race is away.
Training and mentally preparing for a race is stressful enough. Packing can be quite unorganized depending on what kind of sport you’re practicing, and should not be a concern. A triathlete, for example, has to fit clothes and gear for three different disciplines. Considering the hidden fees most airlines charge, your luggage can end up costing you more than your plane ticket.
Nutrition is key before a race. The problem is that you don’t know where you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner without risking food poisoning. Everything is unfamiliar.
“I always pack breakfast for the morning of the race so I eliminate the stress of finding my normal morning breakfast at the race venue,” Lauren Goss, a professional triathlete, who just won the IRONMAN 70.3 Ecuador, says. On average, she races about 15 times a year.
Certain foods and drinks should not be left to chance. Goss says she doesn’t forget to pack easy to travel snacks for the flight such as mixed nuts, dark chocolate, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She also packs two cans of Beet Performer and First Endurance nutrition – EFS liquid shot gel and drink mix – for the day of the race.
Tricks to pack
“I make sure that I don’t travel with any glass products so it doesn’t take up space or weight,” Goss says. “All beverages are carefully bubble wrapped and strategically placed in my bike case to make sure they don’t open or move around during travel,” she adds.
Depending on what food you want with you on board, you can freeze it in a plastic container. By the time you get to your gate, it will be ready to eat. Freezing can also make perishable items last longer.
You can bring your own bottles filled with water but this is a bit impractical. How many will you need for a 3-4-day trip? If you don’t trust the water sold in local stores, you can bring your own filter as Goss does.
“I always pack my own filter water bottle that I keep packed in my backpack with the supplies I use during the race,” she says.
Travel friendly items
Some foods and beverages are travel friendly and won’t leave your bag wet and full of broken glass. Goss recommends the Beet Performer, which comes in 8.4 fl. oz. cans that are the perfect size for traveling. “I never have to worry that they will break and spill all over my bag,” she adds. “It is all natural and made from 100 percent beet juice that gives me exactly the nutrients and energy I need before the race.”
It may sound impossible but careless mistakes happen and people have forgotten passports and ticket confirmations in the past. Runner’s World lists several items athlete should remember to pack in order to avoid even the slightest inconvenience, regardless of what the forecasts predict.
- Race confirmation
- Hotel confirmation
- Plane tickets
- Course and area maps
- Directions to race and number pick-up
- Vaseline or other anti-chafing lotion
- Hat or visor
- Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
- Safety pins
- Extra cash or credit cards
- ID (and passport if necessary)
- Toiletries including a travel-sized first aid kit
- Travel alarm