Competing outside of the comfort of your hometown can have it’s added stressors, as exciting as it may be otherwise. Be sure to prepare and take steps to mitigate the physical strains of travel as well as the emotional stresses caused by acclimating to a new area. Here are a few tips for preparing for out of town competition:
- Do some research – as much as you are able, find out where you will be staying, how close it is to a grocery store or pharmacy and how far from the fight location it is. It’s possible that everything will be right within reach or you’ll have someone local to point you in the right direction, but it’s always best to be prepared.
- Watch your weight – the further you fly, the higher the possibility of retaining water during your travel will be if you have to take a plane to your fight destination. You’ll want to be closer to your weight than usual to avoid stressing about the weigh-in or having to sweat it out before the fight.
- Make a list – Make a detailed list of what you have to pack. Include ALL of your fighting equipment even if it seems obvious. Only cross an item off the list once it is placed in the suitcase. It’s best if you can start this list a few days before travel and add to it as you remember items to avoid forgetting something essential due to the stress of imminent departure.
- Carry on your fight gear – If your destination is Las Vegas and your suitcase ends up in Los Angeles, at the very least you’ll have what you need for your fight.
- Pack Melatonin for time changes – Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that your body produces for sleep. If you have to acclimate to a drastic time change, take one of these vitamins 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep.
- Using common sense when booking flights – especially when travelling a long distance, if possible, arrive a day or two early to acclimate your body to time changes and to settle your weight. If you plan a vacation around your competition, make your vacation time for the days after your fight so that you can enjoy them without watching your food intake or being concerned about training and competing.
- Pack all must-haves – If you always have a blue flavored sports drink before your fight, bring it with you. Don’t trust that just because it is common, it will be available where you are going. Don’t take the chance on something simple derailing your preparations or your mental composure.
- Arrange meeting places in advance – If you are traveling separate from your coach or teammates, be sure that you all know the location of the weigh-ins, where you are staying, the fight and how to get there. If possible arrange a meet up before you leave town.
Of course the further the trip, the more prepared you want to be. If you are familiar with the area or staying with local friends, you may not need to prepare as much, but it might not hurt to ask what they have on hand. More preparation is better than less as long as the additional prep time doesn’t cause stress.
For more info: You may also want to read Keep up your training on vacation and Exercising in a small space.