Insider Tips for Race Travel

How do you travel for a race? There is no need to stress about a destination marathon or half marathon.  Overcome fear with this 4-step race travel guide!


Coach Whitney LaCombe from our Spark Healthy Runner team shares 4 key tips on traveling stress free for your next race.


In this episode, we’ll provide valuable tips for travel arrangements, reservations, packing lists, and travel day tips to ensure success!

Listen to the Podcast Episode during your next run!



Watch the LIVE video version of this episode below on YouTube!





1. Travel Arrangements (Planning)

Make sure to make them early!! Have your hotel, flight, and method of transportation planned and booked so that you aren’t worrying about this close to race day.

Consider picking an aisle seat when booking airfare so that you make stretch your legs and get to the bathroom on the plane (because you’re going to be super hydrated for your race!!)

Fly out a few days early so you can adjust to the possible time difference and so you can go to the expo as early as possible so you can relax more the day before the race. You don’t want to be on your feet too much the day before.

When you travel home, be considerate of flight times and lay over times. You might want to sleep in a little bit before your flight OR you may need to get home as early as possible so you can be home to get the kids from school… whatever your unique circumstances may be, think about it before you book your flight!

If you plan to play tourist at your race, plan to do so after the race. This will allow you to have fun doing these things instead of worrying about preparing for race day.

Lodging is a personal preference whether it is a hotel, an AirBnB or family/friends that you are staying with, consider where it is in relation to the start line/finish line/shuttle. With this, also plan on how you’ll get to the race! Are you going to walk to the start line? Take the race shuttle or an uber? Have all of these plans made prior to your departure to ensure smooth sailing and peace of mind!

2. Reservations

Making reservations is just as important as making those travel plans! Make dinner reservations early, especially if you like to “carb load” the night before. Italian restaurants tend to fill up pretty face. Make reservations for each night that you are traveling so that you know you’ll have a spot to eat and then you’ll be able to relax that much more without stressing about where you’re going to find your fuel!

Make other reservations as well. If you plan to see a show, go to a sporting event or museum while you are traveling, get those tickets early too!

3. Packing Lists

Check out our Race Day Blueprint for specific race day needs.

Plan each day out – know what you’re going to be doing so that you have outfits ready to go for each day!

Make a list about a month out from your travel day to make sure you have EVERYTHING you will need… food, race fuel, electrolytes, sunscreen… EVERY. THING.

Bring a trash bag to use for dirty or wet clothes, earplugs for a possibly noisy hotel, a sleep mask in case there are bright lights coming through the windows and all your medications.

PRO TIP — Bring all your race day needs IN YOUR CARRY ON. God forbid your luggage gets delayed or lost, the last thing you need is to be buying a whole new outfit and new shoes… remember, nothing new on race day 😉

4. Travel Day Tips (The day you are traveling)

Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE. Not just with water, use electrolyte mixes as well! Plan to get up and walk at least every hour. Point and flex your toes 10 to 20 times every 20 to 30 minutes. Wear compression socks.

Bring ALL race needs in your carry on. *I like to make sure I have room in my backpack as well, just in case I have to move things last minute. I have been on flights where they have run out of overhead space and I needed to move the critical items to my backpack.

Avoid carbonated drinks and chewing gum as it can cause intestinal gas and bloating.

Whitney’s list – FLYING PIG MARATHON 2024 NEEDS

  • watch
  • SPIbelt
  • Race shoes – 2 pairs, 1 on plane
  • Race outfits – 3, 1 on plane
  • Leggings (3)
  • Socks (4)
  • Underwear (3)
  • Bra (3)
  • Shirts (pink, light pink, black oink)
  • Tutu
  • Pig Ear headband
  • Hat (pink flying pig)
  • Goodrs (black and pink)
  • KT tape
  • Safety pins
  • Salt
  • Gels (8)
  • Gatorade (3)
  • Sunscreen
  • Pace band
  • Headphones
  • Chapstick
  • Chargers — phone, watch, headphones, extra battery packs

PRE Race Needs

  • heat sheet
  • warm clothes
  • gloves
  • water
  • sunscreen
  • bananas
  • granola bars
  • bagels
  • chapstick
  • salt
  • toilet paper
  • poncho

Other things to bring

  • Foam Roller
  • make up
  • contacts (5)
  • Contact case
  • Contact solution
  • medications
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • face wash
  • gatorade
  • expo outfit
  • pants
  • top
  • bra
  • undies
  • socks
  • non race clothes — jeans, tops, underwear
  • compression socks
  • recovery shoes
  • birkenstocks
  • travel outfit
  • iPad
  • Earbuds
  • poptarts
  • pretzels
  • bike bottle with gatorade
  • sleep mask
  • ear plugs

Related Resources:


Listen or watch all of coach Whitney’s previous episodes


Listen to our previous episode on Half Marathon Race Nutrition here


Listen to my previous episode about my Cape Cod Marathon Recap Breakthrough here


Listen to my previous episode about my Disney Dopey Challenge Race Recap here


Want the structured run and strength plan with motivation and accountability to reach your highest running potential to crush your destination race? Book a call to learn more about Healthy Runner coaching


Get the full deep dive story on how Duane Scotti became a healthy runner 


This Episode Sponsored By:

A big thanks to ucan for your support for this episode!  You know that we never hit the wall during our races because we fuel with Energy gels from UCAN.


Fuel smarter during your long runs and races with the best no sugar energy gel on the market delivering up to 75+ minutes of steady energy to power your best running performance.


Click here and use code HEALTHYRUNNER for 20% off your entire UCAN order! 


What to do before a race?

… The Ultimate FREE Guide to executing the perfect race preparation and crushing your race for your big day 


10 PROVEN TACTICS to Run a GREAT RACE feeling strong  and confident!   


This online mini-book is written specifically for YOU to take away the guesswork and includes a and   to provide you the structure you need for your big day!  


Whether you are running a 5k, half marathon, or a marathon this blueprint will provide you all the tips and tricks to set you up for the perfect race


Bonus video content embedded throughout!

As you most certainly know by now…there are 6 parts of your running journey that need to be optimized so you can run strong and last long!


Race Day Blueprint: 10 Tips to Crush Your Race!



Download your Free E-book here!



Connect with Dr. Duane:

Dr. Duane Scotti, DPT, PhD, OCS is a running physical therapist, run coach, host of the Healthy Runner podcast, and founder of Spark Healthy Runner and has been a leader in the rehab and running community for 20+ years.


Duane initially started running as an adult, wanting to add some cardio to his gym sessions. After having a hip surgery, his doctor advised him to get off the treadmill and run outside. Without having fully recovered, Duane suffered a running-related hamstring tendon injury and many others as a novice runner.


As a coach, he has guided thousands of athletes back to running, finishing their first marathon, crushing a personal best, and even the elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time.


He is truly living his passion educating the running community that they don’t need to stop running to get over a running injury.  Through his signature 1:1 coaching program, weekly videos, and podcast episodes, he empowers runners to get stronger, run faster, and enjoy lifelong injury free running.  Dr. Duane truly believes that anyone can run and that all runners should be treated differently when recovering from an injury.  He is on a mission to change the traditional thinking that running causes “overuse injuries” or “your body is just not meant to run” and you must “take a break” to get better.  Through strength and run specific training you can grow a strong mind, strong body, and just keep running!


Duane received his Bachelor of Health Science degree and Master of Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac University in 2001 and 2003. He then went on to receive a clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2017. Duane is a board-certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist, RRCA Certified Running Coach, Certified Mulligan Practitioner, certified in dry needling and has advanced training in spinal manipulation and rehabilitation for runners.


As an athlete, Duane is an adult-onset runner, avid half marathoner, and enjoys challenging himself to learn and grow in his personal running journey!


A native New Yorker from Long Island, Duane currently lives in Cheshire, Connecticut with his wife Deb and his two teenage daughters who are competitive volleyball players.  They all love to explore new beaches along the east coast.




Get weekly running tips on the Healthy Runner Podcast…available wherever you get your podcasts!


Related posts

3 Benefits Of Structured Workouts: SPARK Your Fitness into May!

Did you struggle to stay fit in April?  Get your SPARK back as you rise up from this downturn!  Dropped some serious fire last night on Monday Night SPARK Live!  This video outlines the 3 benefits of having structured workouts.       If you missed it above CLICK THIS LINK to take you to… View ArticleRead More

Running Mindset with Coach LaToya

    Do you want to keep your mind in the right place during your run or do you just need some motivation to get out there and run?  Well this is the episode for you with our very own Healthy Runner coach LaToya.     Coach LaToya shares her passion, tips, and honest insight… View ArticleRead More

How to Get Back to Running After a Sprained Ankle

Get back to running faster after a sprained ankle!    Ankle sprains are one of the most common traumatic injuries runners face and could potentially wreak havoc on your training whether you are just looking to get out for some mental clearing miles a couple of times a week or have a big half marathon… View ArticleRead More

“I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude towards Duane Scotti and the Spark Healthy Runner program. When I started working with Duane, I had been dealing with chronic shin splints/posterior tibialis tendinitis for almost a year.

I had worked with multiple other coaches and physical therapists with little success and was at the point of almost giving up on my love for running. Duane is so kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable as both a physical therapist and running coach. Our first virtual meeting lasted two hours because he was so meticulous in his assessment. His strength and running program is progressive and created so that you can continue to build strength and mileage as you heal. His strength program is unique, effective, and fun.

Additionally, his warm-up routine is awesome and includes drills that over time have made me a more efficient runner. His training platform is easy to use, and he is always readily available to chat when problems or questions arise.

Over four months of working with Duane, I have built back to five days a week of running and am almost back up to my pre-injury weekly mileage and long run distance. Whenever I have flare ups or setbacks, Duane reassures me and makes necessary adjustments so that I can continue to progress in my running journey. I have had so much success with him so far that I have signed on for four more months so that he can help me to continue getting stronger as I train for the Dopey challenge in Disney World.

If you are struggling with a running injury and are feeling hopeless, you have to reach out to Duane Scotti. Of course, you will have to put in a lot of hard work, but with Duane by your side, you will be able to achieve your goals and more. Thank you Spark Healthy Runner for bringing the spark back to my running!”

Dipti Pandya

You can teach an old dog new tricks!!!  I have never considered myself a runner and I knew I needed to be smart about it because I am no spring chicken. Spark preached getting strong and healthy to be injury free and they practice what they preach.  I am soooo glad I made the investment in me!  I finished my half marathon last weekend and couldn’t be any happier!  The program fed me all the steps I needed to essentially learn how to run long distance, build strength, nutrition help, a forum of other runners and probably most important was the 1:1 coaching.  I had no idea how to tackle training for a 1/2 marathon and this program broke all of it down, had it individualized for me and we tweaked as we went to make sure I was staying healthy and strong.  I had so many questions the week prior to my race and Coach Cat was always there for me and answering all the questions and issues I had-and believe me there were a lot!  The biggest benefit I think I got was the strength. I am strong and fit. But most important was what I gained emotionally.  I built confidence and strength I didn’t know I had, even at my age.  Honestly could not have done this without Spark Healthy Runners!

Gina J.

My Healthy Runner journey started after I had battled bilateral achilles pain for a few months and was frustrated how it affected my running. As soon as I talked to Duane I knew I had made the right decision. His positivity, enthusiasm and genuine care are infectious. The training plan that was tailored to me included specific exercises to rehab my injury and I was so excited that I didn’t have to stop running. It took patience to only run slow for a few weeks but I trusted the process and it got me me to where I am now: running pain free. We made adjustments to the plan throughout whenever needed having someone in your corner that is always there with guidance and support throughout the process was invaluable.

I just ran my second half marathon, both with Duane’s coaching, and PR’d by over 9 minutes! I got all choked up in the last mile when I realized that I felt strong and could still kick it up a notch.

I’m so thankful for the Healthy Runner program, community and the entire coaching team for all the support!

Katja L.

Sign up for our weekly blog and podcast in order to help you maintain a strong mind, strong body, & just keep running!