With the increase in popularity of running races, many athletes choose to travel to events. Sometimes they include the race as a part of an extended vacation. Other times,… travel is short and specifically for the sake of the race. The act of racing can be stressful in and of itself, and travel can only exacerbate that stress. Here are five tips to keep in mind next time you travel to help contribute to an overall positive race, travel, and recovery experience.
Endurance Athletes are [far more susceptible](http://www.americanrunning.org/w/article/revisiting-dvt-assessing-athlete-risk-1) to developing deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, a dangerous condition that results from blood clots in the legs, and can be fatal. While most common in air travel, an athlete does not have to fly to be susceptible to DVT. Any situation that imposes physical constraints, such as long car rides, can increase the risk of DVT. Wearing compression gear, such as socks or sleeves, on the lower legs helps to reduce the risk of DVT by increasing blood flow.
While traveling, it is easy to become dehydrated due to lack of convenient access to water, or simply indulging in travel foods, such as sodas or alcoholic beverages. Keeping a water bottle nearby at all times may help remind you to continuously sip water throughout the day. Dehydration may lead to poor race performances, as well as negative health issues.
Your running shoes are one of the most important race day items. Comfortable, well-fitting shoes can make or break your race day performance and experience. In the unfortunate event that your luggage is lost or misplaced while flying, it may be near impossible to replace your shoes in time for the race. Even if you do, they may not be broken in, nor as comfortable, as the shoes you have been training in. Keeping them in your carry-on luggage will ensure that even in the worst case scenario of having the airline misplace your luggage, you will still have your shoes.
You may feel on top of the world on the way to your race, only to be overcome with delayed onset muscle soreness or other aches and pains from your race on your return trip. Wear comfortable clothes that do not restrict movement, and will prevent aggravating already sore muscles.
Traveling, whether it be by car, train, or airplane, requires a lot of sitting still. Lack of movement not only inhibits recovery of post-race muscles, but can also lead to the dangerous condition mentioned above, deep vein thrombosis. Try your best to keep moving as much as possible. Take frequent breaks to get up and stretch your legs. If you must stay seated, try engaging various muscles in your legs to help increase blood flow.
Just like travel agents that specialize in cruises, or international travel, there are companies that cater specifically to athletes. Companies such as [Marathon Tours & Travel](http://www.marathontour.com/) will help take care of all of the details of your next race vacation.
Keeping these running specific travel tips in mind will help ease the anxiety and stress that may accompany your next race specific travel adventures.