Travel Tips to Keep You Fit n’ Fresh May 23, 2019 00:02 Updated Follow Not signed in? Log into your Purple Patch account for full access to your education program for coaches and athletes. You need to sign in to view this page. Authored by Matt Dixon A hot topic always for many of the Purple Patch folks - travel. It was the topic of this week’s podcast, and it is well worth a little listen to gain insight and perspective. I think you will find it valuable, particularly as you head into the holiday weekend (at least in the US). Visit Purple Patch Podcast page to give it a listen. It is quite a list of things to remember, so for you Purple Patch folks, I wanted to go a step further and create a little organized cheat sheet for you. This is a topic we have covered before, but we now organize in a different format to allow you to refine and improve in your habits. Before we get into the cheat sheet, let’s remind ourselves of the most critical elements of travel management. What do I need you to embrace and appreciate when management stress within a performance life? You cannot move forward, you just don’t want to regress. Beyond traveling for extended stays or training camps, your most typical travel is best navigated with a mindset of avoiding massive regression. A stubborn commitment of continual, linear progression will destroy you. Release the emotional tension and set yourself up for success. The goal is maintaining and not driving forward. Travel is typically the big stress that tips the cart. You are likely already at a tipping point with training load and regular life stress. Realize that adding travel is a big enough stress to cause issues, unless you take on a lens of management and pragmatism. Train heading in but reintegrate carefully: Train as normal heading in but, on arrival, you must include a recovery session/day (or two if needed), then an endurance focused day of training, before finally hitting full training on day three or four following the return. We sometimes adjust this, but it is a good rule of thumb. If you travel regularly, you better have the courage to recover. Regular business travelers only thrive if they are truly buttoned up on positive supporting habits at home (training, sleep, rest, hydration, and nutrition). Add consistent travel stress on a platform of poor habits or too much training; and you are, my friend, on a road to ruin. Travel Cheatsheet Pre-Travel Things to do to set up travel success: Plan your trip Red-Eyes are only typically a good idea for those who sleep well on planes and who trend toward being night-owls in sleeping habits. Early morning flights synchronize better with those who trend to being morning larks. Set up your seating Aisle seats are preferred for day flights (movement and activity easier) Window seats preferred for flights in which you aim to rest more Arrive with proper hydration and nutrient set up Pre-hydration is of high value Don’t arrive full. Light meals of high nutrient value are preferred (lower starch typically). During Travel Ways to manage your travel experience in flight: Eat light, hydrate well Avoid alcohol if possible Retain high hydration status Avoid plane food if possible, hit pre-prepared protein-focused snacks Get comfortable Loose and comfortable clothes Take off your shoes Potentially wear compression Dress in layers to manage body temperature and comfort Move and remain mobile Frequent walks in the plane and easy mobility at the bathroom/galley Dial in your environment: Eye Pillows are high value It is a noisy environment, earplugs help. A pillow for the long-haul: As radical as it sounds, real research around familiar smells and feelings assist sleep. If practical, sneak your own pillow for longer trips. Post-Travel The keys to success are actions on arrival: Get moving Lighter session of activity with a focus on moving (circulating) blood. Include some short and high intensity 15 to 30-second pickups to spark dialogue between brain and body. If you cannot exercise then fake it. Walk in the airport, take the stairs, skip the “travelator.” Get fed You should arrive hungry on arrival, assuming you followed the steps above. Eat a meal quickly and align it with the time of day at destination Remain hydrated Coffee is OK if time appropriate. Avoid late PM caffeine. Dial in environment When crossing time zones you must set yourself up for sleeping success. Use that pillow (if appropriate) Ensure your room is quiet, dark, and cool (use those eye pillows and earplugs if needed) Avoid bright screens prior to when you hope to sleep Set up your backstop Realizing you may wake at strange times, ensure you have something to keep you engaged that is restful (paperback or Kindle, meditation app, etc.) Consider yourself travel-ready! Let’s remove as much of the stress of it as possible. Related articles Executive Training - As Featured on CNN 5 Tips for Better Swim Techinque with John Stevens and Matt Hurley - 11/18/19 Using Heat and Altitude as Performance Enhancers How Refined Should Your Training Be? QOTW: To Supplement or Not?