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5 Expert Tips On Acclimating To Race-cation Destinations

Photo by Sorrasak Tinyo / Shutterstock.com.

Get Used To It

Running experts share their top tips for acclimating to a new destination so that you can get the most out of yourself on race day.

Up Your Mental Game

“It’s really tough to adapt to new climates since we can’t flip a switch and add humidity or drizzle or wind to our workouts! My advice: It’s a mental game. Tell yourself that you’re awesome at all climates and act as if it’s true. Too many people say, ‘I’m not good in the heat (or humidity or cold, etc.).’ I believe that this mindset sabotages the race before it even starts. Over time as you race in more varied climates, your body will adapt more quickly.” —Nicole DeBoom, former pro triathlete, founder & CEO of Skirt Sports

Head West

“My general rule of thumb is to pick an event in a time zone west of me if I want to PR. It is always tougher to adapt to an earlier time zone. Adjust your home clock to the new time zone a couple days before you leave for the race. Added bonus: Early bird specials at restaurants are pretty awesome when you eat dinner at 5 p.m.!” —Nicole DeBoom

Turn Up The Heat

“With runners preparing for a warmer event than they are currently training in, I recommend some form of once-weekly heat exposure. Methods can range from wearing extra clothing during a run to jumping into the sauna or hot bath after the run. This practice stimulates the body to develop some better heat tolerance methods, such as increased blood plasma volume, decreased sweat electrolyte content and earlier onset of sweating.” —Kyle Kranz, online running coach

Orient Yourself

“When you get to the hotel, ask the front desk for a map of the area/city. Then compare it to the course map so you can better know the course (intersections, statues, points of interest). This will also help your support team (friends/family who are traveling with you to watch the race) know where to meet up with you (mile marker may be at a certain visible location). Drive the course. Hire an Uber or taxi. Don’t drive it yourself. Take the maps along with you and make notes along the way.” —Mindy Solkin, USATF Level 2–certified run coach, founder of The Running Center

Train Higher Up

“If your destination race is at a higher altitude than what you train at, it can have a significant impact on your performance. [If possible,] incorporate high-altitude training weekly into your program or at least three times before your race. Mentally and physically you need to know what you’re in for and how you should adjust your training at lower altitudes. Also, plan for a slower race. Practicing at a high altitude is a good reality check that will help you adjust your goals. Instead of a specific time goal, you can focus on enjoying this crazy adventure and finishing strong.” —Martise Moore, running coach, founder of GreenRunner

Related:

Friends On The Run: How Race-cations Create Friendships For Life

4 Family-Friendly Active Travel Destinations

How To Be Included When You Can’t Make A Race Vacation

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis is the managing editor of Triathlete magazine. She's a mom, rec soccer player, multiple half-marathon finisher and is learning daily how to become a better triathlete.