Here’s Shahrom Abdullah with a few expert travel tips for competing overseas
Re-Claim: Shahrom, how important is preparation and doing the correct planning before you leave for competing overseas?
Shahrom: Preparation is key. Book your flights as early as possible to save costs and aim to reach your destination at least three to four days before the race, especially if you are racing in different time zones and different weather. Getting over jet lag and adjusting to warmer or cooler weather can take time.
Your lodging should ideally be close to the race site and within cycling or running distance to avoid stress in the morning of the race. If you’re staying far away, make sure you know the route to the race start and give yourself enough time to allow for traffic and road closures on race morning.
Re-Claim: Great! And what about your equipment?
Shahrom: If you bring your bike for competing overseas make sure your bicycle is race ready. It is worth the effort to learn how to pack, set up and tune your own bike, especially if you travel a lot for races. Always send your bike for service or tuning before packing it up to head overseas. The last thing you want is a mechanical problem on the bike after spending months training for your race.
Re-Claim: You mentioned adjusting to local time is important. How do you combat jet lag when competing overseas?
Shahrom: Jet lag is very likely when you are on long flights and the further you travel, the worse it gets. Try to adjust to local time as soon as possible. If you’re exhausted upon arrival, stay up until the evening.
Re-Claim: As a triathlete, you have a lot of clothes, accessories and equipment to bring? Does any of it go missing?
Shahrom: You need to organise your gear. The night before the race, lay out all your equipment and accessories and go through your checklist. For easier sorting, put related items in separate bags.
Re-Claim: And diet is important. You can’t rely on airplane food to get you through?
Shahrom: Staying hydrated is the easiest way for your body to cope with travel, especially on flights where the atmosphere is dry. Always have a water bottle with you to sip throughout your journey. As for food, stick to normal and simple food. Try to minimise junk food intake as this will just add to your lethargy.
Shahrom Abdullah is an elite athlete and adventurer, who in January 2016 became the first Malaysian to conquer the South Pole, trekking and skiing for 37 days.
You can contact Shahrom on his Facebook page
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