bush run, Zambia, dec 2014
Hey jetset mountain folk,
As I circle the globe for yet another multi-continent journey, a few helpful travel hints came to mind. Whether you're traveling on business or on the way to an expedition, your practice need not suffer nor regress. Here are a few strategies I employ when I take to the skies.
Before you leave: Pre-train for your trip or program in your travel time as off-days; note that travel does not count as a rest day even if you are not training. Pack your favorite foods; prepared for travel and bulk for once you're there. I find a pack of KIND bars in the bush super helpful to combat the bonk after a long day of clinic visits. Go to the local travel clinic to get vaccinations, advice, and medications appropriate for your trip. Compile a first aid kit including curcumin, activated charcoal, dressings, alcohol wipes, and a few iodone tablets. For very long flights, get tired before you get on the plane and sleep through the ride. Bring whatever implements might help you continue to train (rock rings, a mat, a towel, iPod).
While you travel: Wash your hands every chance you get; carry soap and toilet paper on your person at all times. Consider wearing a surgical mask en route; think about all the time, effort, and resources you've put into preparing for this journey. Illness can cost you the entire objective. Consider the costs and benefits of flying one class more comfortable. Bring your yoga mat, walk vigorously in the terminal (don't take the escalators), and sit in meditation if you can find a spot. Double sleep, don't sleep deprive to adjust. Eat every few hours in small doses of low-sodium, simple, whole foods. However counter-intuitive, get off the caffeine carousel and allow your body's clock to reset itself.
don't drink the water, rural Tanzania, dec 2014
Layovers: Set your watch to the time zone where you'll end up and pretend it is that time. Find a treadmill and go for a run, a quiet corner in which to do some inversions, or get creative with a door jamb and knock out some pull-ups. Sleep flat for a few hours if the option is available to you.
When you land: The best way to fight jet lag and reset the body's clock is to work out as soon as you can upon landing. Use circuits to keep the body guessing. Be sure to retain a daily practice during the week, even if this means waking super early before meetings or training in inclement weather. Keep at minimum two longer endurance sessions in your weekly schedule to avoid detraining; befriend the treadmill. Continue your sport-specific training: dowel pull-ups for an ice expedition, explosive lifting for ski season, crimp sessions for a rock objective. If you have trouble sleeping, pop half a melatonin--but don't rely on it.
Get local: Take advantage of the local landscape's training opportunities. Marooned in desperately-flat Zambia? Revel in the high altitude and go for some bush runs. Laying over in overly-developed Dubai? Google for a climbing gym--they are top-notch. Transiting through Delhi? Try like hell to not get sick.
I hope these tips give you the chance to take a healthy, balanced trip. Bon voyage!