How to Travel the Week of Competition

I can’t tell you how excited I am that today I’m only #3daysout from my second competition!! This is always the hardest week mentally, although last week was probably the hardest physically. Most of us that compete have day jobs (and side jobs, in my case), so life keeps going even when you have a competition coming up. This year, that meant a week of work travel leading up to the weekend of my show.

How to Travel the Week of Competition

Thankfully, final week of competition prep (often called peak week) is a huge break in workout department! This differs by coach, but for me it went something like this:

  • Sunday: 60 minutes moderate cardio (I chose cycling)
  • Monday: 60 minutes moderate cardio (I chose running)
  • Tuesday: 45 minutes treadmill walk with incline + strength circuit
  • Wednesday: strength circuit
  • Thursday: nada
  • Friday: nothing
  • Saturday: Show Day!!

Compared to the tough workouts I’ve been pushing through for the past 5 weeks, this is cake!

The tough part is the nutrition.

This is the week that I want to eat everything in sight. Not because I’m hungry, but because my palate is BORED! It’s the only week that I have prescribed meals – which includes a combination of egg whites & oats (breakfasts) or protein powder/fish, sweet potatoes, and asparagus. You can only make those things so many ways. And to make things a bit more challenging this week, I’m actually attending our yearly sales meeting!! You might remember I had just started training for my first competition at last year’s sales meeting, so I have a little experience in making this work.

Instead of complaining (although I admit I am doing a bit of that!), I decided to be prepared. I know how to meal prep, I just don’t enjoy it. So I came out of retirement for this week only and made everything I needed this weekend.

Tips for You To Use

1. Know Your Plan Early

I asked for my plan for the week a little earlier than normal, because I knew I needed to prep and leave by Sunday afternoon. Give yourself time to plan your attack without adding too much stress.

2. Prep & Pre-portion

Since I had so much food, I didn’t prepare meals during prep (which I used to do). To save space, I stacked the fish in just a few Tupperware bins, using the aluminum foil they baked on to separate into portions in the container. The asparagus was packed into two huge containers. Get the picture? Before each meal, I read my instructions again and assembled what I needed into a few spare tupperware containers I brought along.

3. Extra flavor & utensils

The last thing I did was grab a few toppings I could still use. I brought vanilla, almond, and maple extract to mix into my eggy oats in the morning. I also brought cinnamon for extra sprinkling on the sweet potato and oats. I packed salt for the meals where I add salt this week. And silverware! I brought just a few spoons and forks, washing in between uses in the bathroom sink.

4. Vitamins & Minerals

Don’t forget any vitamins & minerals you need! I don’t take anything at the beginning of the week, but a few things are added in as we get closer (like dandelion root, potassium, etc). Pack only what you need, but just don’t forget them!

5. Be Mentally Prepared!

If you’ve made it this far, you know how to stick to a plan and get it done.  For me, the hardest part was ignoring all the yummy food, coffee, teas, and candies that were laid out for attendees at all times. I wasn’t really hungry where I needed them, they just looked good and I wanted variety! Know what you’re going to have a harder time with, so you can get your game face on!

Sales Meeting Spread of Temptation

How I applied these tips:

After getting my plan, I entered everything in Plan To Eat and went shopping. We had to visit to grocery stores to get enough asparagus! 

I started by prepping the ingredients that needed cooking the night before. Starting with the fish. I picked out three sets of spices (sweet, spicy, and curry), to  give the cod and tilapia some variety. After coating the fish thoroughly, I set them aside to marinate for about 20 minutes before baking. One the fish were in the oven, I sautéed asparagus on the stovetop in batches, transferring the cooked stalks to large tupperware containers as I went.  Once the fish was finished, I cut the foil around each serving and loaded up more tupperware with all the fish. The finals cooking step was to roast peeled sweet potatoes until they were tender & sweet. This was all the meal prep I had to do – not too bad with such a basic meal plan.

The day of travel, I laid out everything I needed:

  • Prepped & pre-portioned fish
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Cooked Asparagus
  • Boxes of egg whites
  • Rolled oats
  • Protein powder
  • Vitamins & Minerals
  • Extra flavor extracts & spices
  • Silverware
  • Scale (weighing protein powder & sweet potato)

Kirk helped me load everything in a rolling cooler, packed with frozen ice packs, and into the car. This would have been tougher if I was flying, but I could frozen the cooked food overnight & packed in a suitcase with extra frozen ice packs.

Hotel Room Refrigerator

Once at the hotel, I requested a microwave for the room (a $20 surcharge for the whole week) and unloaded my food into the fridge. Each day, I assemble my meals a few at a time, to make sure I had the right food to eat at the right times throughout the day.

So that’s it!  There are moments that have been harder this week, but I remind myself that it’s really just a few days! I decided to be a lot less social this week, to minimize the temptation and frustration on my part. You do what you have to do.

*******************

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever traveled the week leading up to a big event?
  • What’s the craziest food you’re brought on a trip?
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  1. says

    Mine is more the other way as I have to carb load, and make sure I get enough calories to fuel my races. i try to limit fiber too to reduce the risk of my stomach being upset during my race.

    GOOD LUCK! Hope all goes well, will look forward to a recap :)
    Tina Muir recently posted…Fish with Peach-Mango SalsaMy Profile

    • says

      I’m not as aggressive on the carb loading protocols as I used to be, but you’re right there’s a significant shift in the protein carb balance you need for endurance vs strength peaks! I can’t wait to be able to share the recap too – almost there!!

  2. Beth says

    As one with celiac disease who follows a plant-based diet and has food allergies, I drag bags and bags of groceries with me on trips, especially to races. The chances of me being able to eat something in a restaurant are slim to none, and I don’t want to take any chances before a race. I have lots of fruit, carrots and hummus, homemade items and lots of meal bars, peanut butter and protein packets. You do what you have to do. GOOD LUCK!

    • says

      Hehe! I actually don’t do this most of the time, only when hitting things perfectly counts. Otherwise, I’ve gotten good at learning how to order out (see last week’s post). :)

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