Episode #14 – Solving Travel Challenges with Olympian Bec Henderson

Episode #14 – Solving Travel Challenges with Olympian Bec Henderson

There are many travel challenges such as immunisation, vaccinations, jet lag, diet, and acclimatisation. This podcast deals with how the travelling cyclist can stay on top of their training and performance while in ever changing environments.

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Giro di Lombardia rounds out the Pro Cycling season for me, and many of the riders. I wouldn’t say there have been many surprises, Boonen won most spring classics, Cancellara didn’t. Wiggans cleaned up the Tour in Dominant yet Indurain-esque fashion, boring. Vino won the Olympics and Gilbert won the World’s.

Highlights for me, Hesjedal winning the Giro, Contador winning the Vuelta and Gilbert winning World’s.

Now I am dead-set serious about getting something going for the Tour next year. The route will be released on October 24. If you keen to meet up, go for ride, drink beer, anything please get in touch. I’m also keen for advice, I am a noob at live tour watching and any advice will be welcomed with open arms.

Olympian Bec Henderson of the Anytime Fitness-Trek MTB Team

To help out this week I asked Bec Henderson onto the show. Bec is an U23 World Cup Mountain Biker from Australia. Bec rides for the Anytime Fitness-Trek Team alongside her partner Dan McConnell among others, but these two competed in this year’s MTB Word Cup series. They are the current Australian National XCO Champions, Bec in U23 and Dan in Elite. Bec added 5 U23 Women’s World Cup podiums and second in the series to her international palmarès this year. Which lead to an Olympic berth at just 20 years old.

Considering Bec and Dan are primarily self supported when it comes to race organisation, it’s no mean feat what they had to do in terms of organisation and preparation. So considering all of this I thought Bec would be the perfect person to talk to about the challenges of travelling when you a competing cyclist. Now while the international athlete is a global traveller, for those of you that aren’t regular competitors on the World circut, I was looking for ideas that we can adapt to our more modest travel requirements. All still just as important especially if you are in a car 6 hours the day before a race, then 6 hours straight after the race.

  • Do you have a team manager? What does your team have as a support personnel?
  • What does a typical competition week look like travelling and training wise?
  • Can you quickly run through a typical race week?
  • How do you prepare for time in the car? Before and after an event. (Do you do warm-downs?)
  • How quickly do you return to normal training?
  • What measures do you take to avoid the dreaded jet lag?
  • How do you prepare for altitude?
  • Self-cater or eat at restaurants?
  • Any new riding foods you have found in Germany?
  • What steps did you take to avoid getting overwhelmed by a big race like the Olympics?
  • Where is the best place for people to follow you or get in touch?

Bec Henderson

Some of Bec’s nuggets of gold:

Assess Travel Itinerary and Competition Schedule

  • Book accommodation as soon as possible, even months in advance.
  • Planning accommodation with cooking facilities will ensure the best food possible before races.
  • Don’t train for the first 3 days at altitude. NB: Altitude is usually considered over 2000m.

Identify Potential Nutrition Issues

  • Brush up on language or at least know enough to understand menus.
  • Buy food such as meat and freeze it if you are unsure of what a new place has to offer.
  • Watch out when eating Spanish food (sorry Spain).

Tech, Hacks & Products Section

Cleaning helmets is easy, just wear it into the shower.

  1. Take it off to wash your hair
  2. Put it back on while you still have shampoo in your hair
  3. Wash the straps
  4. Take off the helmet and give the pads a quick scrub with your nails and fingers
  5. Clean the outside shell of mud etc.
  6. Rinse thoroughly, not cleaning all the soap out can make it smell worse than before the clean
  7. Hang to dry. Unless it’s in a hot room it’s not going to dry overnight. Just take that warning if you cleaning it in winter and use it the next day.



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