The number of runners traveling to races across the country, and across the world, is on the rise. More and more people are seeking unique experiences and combining running with travel is a popular option. However, running and travel don’t always mix well. But Ultramarathoner, Dean Karnazes gives us some tricks to minimize the impact of travel and emerge fresher and more race ready than you would think. Here are his hacks:
Book an Aisle Seat
Being in an aisle seat will allow you to get up and move about the cabin more easily, something you should do often, especially during longer flights. Use a service like SeatGuru to select an isle seat in advance. You might even find one with extra legroom.
Hydrate Very Often
The air inside an airplane is dry, so be sure to drink plenty of liquid (yes, alcohol is a liquid, but one that will make things worse rather than better, so go lightly on the booze). Clear water is always best, the same color your urine should be. And that’s another reason to book an isle seat, it’s easier to head for the bathroom.
Okay, that’s a made up word, but you know what I’m talking about. Wearing compression socks and calf sleeves is essential when flying. Even inside a pressurized cabin, the equivalent altitude can be much higher than sea level. Running can cause inflammation and edema; altitude makes it worse, so keep things in check with compression gear.
Always travel with eye shades and earplugs (or noise cancelling headphones). Even short bouts of sleep can help the body regulate and recover more quickly and creating the right sleeping environment is key. Sleep whenever possible.
Go topical with anti-inflammatory’s
If localized pain and swelling are a problem, try Aspercreme or Topical EDGE rather than oral medications. Apply these ointments under your compression tights for best results.
Moisturize, both outside and in.
Hand moisturizer is soothing, especially after the skin has been exposed to sun and wind (as it is during many races). But the inside of your body can be dry, too. Moisturizing nose spray is equally soothing, as is moisturizing eye drops. Finally, keeping some lozenges handy can help coat your throat and prevent hoarseness.
Hopefully these tips will help minimize some of the unpleasantness of travel and will make your journey all the more memorable. Just always remember the compression gear!
Post Written By: Dean Karnazes
Dean Karnazes has raced and competed on all 7 continents, twice. He is the author of the NY Times bestseller: Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner.