Michelle Mehnert, a triathlete and University of Illinois swimmer, will be competing in the Short Course Triathlon World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, this weekend. She’s been writing a series of guest blogs about her training for the world championships. In her fourth guest blog for The Starting Line, she writes about preparing for the trip abroad.
I hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day weekend! I spent mine doing all my homework for this coming week and packing (relaxing, I know…). I’m still an engineering student, even if I’m a quarter-way around the world.
The packing is a bit of a challenge. Besides a plethora of shoes that are needed (bike shoes/racing flats/trainers/flip-flops….) there is the bike to pack as well. My bike frame is titanium, so I don’t have to worry much about that when packing, but other things are much more breakable. A lot of the components on my bike are made from carbon fiber, which doesn’t like to be twisted much (Not at all!). When I pack my bike, I have to take the wheels, pedals, handlebars, seat, etc. off to fit into the case. I’m hoping that this will save me the oversize bag charge, but the case is pretty bulky. I think I’ve got all my tri gear packed, I just hope I remembered normal clothing.
Lately, I also worked out my schedule for the week. I arrive on Wednesday afternoon, Budapest time, and have the rest of the day to get my bearings in the city. Thursday is packed with a team run and bike ride, followed by the opening ceremonies in the evening. Friday and Saturday will be calmer days for me, as the Aquathon and Sprint Triathlon races will be going on then. Last, but certainly not least, Sunday is go time!
Continuing with last week’s taper talk, my training and nutrition continue to be very important. Through all the chaos around me, I have to remember to breathe, stretch, and eat right. Traveling always dehydrates athletes, so I have a water bottle that I’m taking with me (that I can fill up past security, of course), and bars in case the plane food is, well, plane food.
I also bought a Hungarian-English dictionary and made little flashcards with essential foods such as “Potatoes,” “Chicken,” and “Noodles.” Hopefully that will help when I have to order at a restaurant. Sadly, I’ll likely hold off on any foods that are too adventurous until after the race, but I’m not leaving until I’ve tried some authentic goulash!
Happy Training! See you in Hungary!