In 2018 I was abroad for nearly 6 months. There are several things I do and use to keep my training consistent and to keep my body in functioning at its best. You might find some of these useful if you are traveling to a race or training camp. Below is a summary. Shoot me questions if you want to know more.
1. Trigger ball, foam roller, tennis ball and golf ball
The most important piece of equipment in my carry on bag is a trigger ball. A foam roller or a trigger ball is a quick and easy way of staying on top of problem areas in between massage and other recovery and while sitting in an airport lounge. You can use a tennis ball, golf ball or even a foot roller if you don’t have access to a foam roller. Check out this link for a video on glute release while in the airport.
2. Portable Bike Rollers
At just 10kg this little gem can come with me as hand luggage. I have never had a problem sneaking them on as a second piece. I typically always use thee when travelling to a race where we arrive with only a few days prior to the race start. It lets me tune the bike prior to travelling and ride in my hotel room without the risk of puncturing race tyres or having an unsatisfactory training ride in a new location. On a number of occasions I have heard other athletes complaining about being unable to train on the bike in the lead up to the race. With a cost between $450-700 I feel my rollers are a bargain. I use Feedback rollers.
3. The old go to, massage
Regular massage is important throughout your entire training cycle and even more so when you increase your volume of training or you travel for a race or training camp. Staying balanced after travel is important so getting in to straighten things out is one of my priorities when I land.
4. High pressure recovery boots
A newer recovery option when travelling is the use of pressurised recovery boots. The boots are inflated using a specialised air-compressed and they run through a cycle applying pressure to assist blood flow upwards from the feet toward the heart. There are now a number of brands of boots available on the market ranging between $800-$3,000. These are great when you go somewhere you are uncertain of finding a good massage therapist.
Nothing beats a nap. During sleep the body repairs producing human growth hormones. There is no better way, or cheaper way to recover than to take a nap! Understanding when your flight takes off, lands, the length of your flight and your new time zone will help you plan when you will need to sleep in order to reduce jet lag and get on the time zone when you arrive. My trick is simple, if you arrive in the morning try not to sleep until the night time, if you arrive at night, try to sleep until morning. If you have a long haul try and sleep when it is night time in your new time zone. Never easy to get perfect but best to try!
6. A good quality and simple bike bag
I use a Sci-con bag, I have for several years. My bike has not been damaged and I don't need to change any setup parameters like seat hight or remove the base bar or alter the extensions. I always remove my chain, pedals, batteries, rear drink cage and rear derailleur.