Plan Ahead to Keep Travel Stress Low
by Alex Thompson
When people think about traveling for races, what they sometimes mean is packing all the right stuff. If you get the packing right, everything else is easy. Putting everything you need for the day in a rucksack isn’t hard; nobody stresses when getting stuff ready for a swim session. So why does packing for a race cause so much stress?
It may be because we know that if we forget our trunks for a workout we can just buy a new pair. And if worse comes to worst, missing a swim isn’t that big a deal. But forgetting something that ultimately prevents us from racing is a pretty big deal.
With the exception of some races requiring longer stays such as Ironman events, I can turn up around noon the day before the race, having left no later than the morning before. This means I travel light and I can turn up to the race on my race bike with everything I need in a rucksack.
I know having kids means having to take more stuff. But when I see people turn up with a huge SUV with a trailer attached holding more gear than I own, I cannot help but think with all that stuff they are over-complicating things.
For races in the U.K., I almost always use the train to get to where I need to be and ride the last few miles. Before I book a race I make sure this is possible. It can be done for most U.K. and European events and it isn’t a stress.
When you have nothing but your race kit already separated out into transition bags, your food and a small boom box, there is nothing to worry about. It takes no time to breeze through registration, check your bike check and pitch a tent. Then I just sit back, listen to the Skatalites, eat my trail mix and get to bed early -- ready to kick ass the next day.
Alex has been a triathlete since 2005 and has competed several ironman and ultra distances races. He is currently working towards making the transition from age group athlete into the pro ranks. He has been working closely with Alan Couzens for the last two years to achieve his goal. You can follow Alex's progress through his blog, TriOnTrack.