A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Flying to and from a race

on February 22, 2014

Lots of us will be flying in to Orlando this week from all over the world. Being the compulsive over-planner that I am, I spent a lot of time reading about and making lists about the things I needed to keep in mind with flying to a race.


– If you need it for the race, bring it in your carry on! We’ll be checking a bag with the rest of our vacation gear, but in my carry on I’ll have my shoes, my running clothes for the race, my Gu’s, my music, my chargers and all of my essential paperwork. Yes, if something catastrophic happens, you could buy everything you could possibly need at the Expo but I certainly don’t want that added expense and stress.

– Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It is important to hydrate before a race and if you’re spending part of your time pre-race on an airplane, that’s particularly important because a) airplanes tend to have drier air and be dehydrating and b) with the low resting heartrates of runners, being immobile on a plane for a long time can increase your risk of a blood clot if you’re dehydrated. Thanks to TSA restrictions, you can’t bring big jugs of Gatorade with you from home but you can bring the powdered mixes (or Nuun tablets, which is my plan) and a water bottle. You can also buy water or Gatorade/Powerade once you get through security. Drink up! You might also mention it to your flight attendant when they’re drink service, to see if they can give you a bottle of water to avoid being called for lots of refills of your little cup. You’d be surprised what a smile and a thank you can get you.


– Keep moving! All of that drinking will have you going back and forth to the restrooms on the plane a lot, which is good for decreasing your chance of clot and minimizing the fluid that pools in your legs when you sit a long time. Having an aisle seat makes it a lot easier to get up to do this, so think about requesting one for your flights to/from the race, even if you’re normal a window seat person. Moving around will also help with a lot of stiffness if you’re flying  back shortly after the race.

– Compression socks can also help with the swelling and clot risks, so if you have them be sure to wear them on the plane coming and going from the race.

– Remember that fueling for the race doesn’t just happen during the race or the night before. Ideally, you start optimizing your nutrition in the week before the race and gradually increasing your carbohydrates over a few days. You also want to avoid getting any stomach issues from eating unfamiliar airport food on top of a stomach that may already be wired with excited nerves. Bring along some healthy snacks or your favorite pre-run fueling options and stick to familiar options in the airport food courts. Better safe than sorry! Experiment and try new things when we’re celebrating crossing that finish line!

– You’re crowded with a lot of people, so avoid anyone who is coughing or sneezing, wash your hands a lot and use hand sanitizer. You don’t want to catch something on the plane that’ll ruin your race morning!

– I’m personally going to bring my race information packet to read over again on the way there and my training journals, to help reinforce that I really am ready for this and I really have come a long way!


Have you flown to races before? Any advice?

8 responses to “Flying to and from a race

  1. I have never flown to a race, but have thought about it, and I really don’t like the idea of combining the two.
    When I do it one day (I know I will) I guess I’ll try to fly in a couple days in advance if possible, get as much rest as possible before the race. Flying the afternoon before, and then racing the next morning, sounds just so exhausting.

  2. Kristin says:

    Great tips!! I especially like the stay hydrated one!! That’s very important!!

  3. I have that exact same running calendar!!

    Hydrating is such an easy one to forget at Disney World. I always make sure I have water or electrolytes in hand, especially if I spend time in the parks before the race. That Florida heat/humidity can really take its toll!

  4. […] this trip, I’ll be flying to Orlando. I’ve talked before about flying to a race and a lot of the things I’d written about in the past will hold true for this trip […]

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