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Guest Blog: How an Olympic athlete travels

I'm Hannah Miley, and I’m a Olympic swimmer. Sport has been my passion most of my life, but if I hadn’t decided to focus on swimming, I would have picked a job that allowed me to travel. Luckily for me swimming is my job and allows me to travel, so I’ve got the best of both worlds.


Olympic Games

I’ve been lucky enough to compete at 3 Olympic Games and 4 Commonwealth Games, in amazing places like Budapest and Rio de Janeiro. Getting to experience different cultures, seeing different countries, and meeting new people is one of the things that I’ve loved about my career in sport. One of my favourite countries to visit is Italy, I love Italian food and the training venues there are incredible. My all-time favourite swimming pool is the Foro Italico Pool in Rome.


As much as I enjoy travelling, it is very tricky to try and get a good sleep on an overnight flight, especially when you are squashed between some broad shouldered swimmers, in economy class. Swimming is physically and emotionally draining, so the more sleep you get, the better prepared you are to cope with the day's training or even perform at your best in a competition. I started perfecting my napping from 2012 onwards, and I can fall asleep pretty quickly now. To get to sleep as soon as possible, I need darkness, quiet and comfort so I try and create those conditions wherever I am, including on the plane.

Jet Lag

If you’re not able to sleep whilst you travel, you might end up suffering from the dreaded jet lag. Having jet-lag at a swimming competition can hugely impact your performance. Once I was competing in America and in the morning, I was ready to go, but then when it came to the finals that evening, my body was sluggish and I just wanted to sleep.  Even power naps can help you to be able to move into whatever you are doing, when you arrive, whether that’s business, swimming or sport in general. You need to get the perfect jet-lag recovery strategy in place, in order to get your body ready to compete in the right time zone.

My top tips to overcome jet-lag are

  • Staying hydrated - making sure you drink as often as you can really helps your body recover.  
  • Wear Flight Socks - gentle compression can really help your legs and feet feel better.
  • Move about - during the flight, walk up and down the aisle, do a couple of stretches and allow your body to loosen up
  • Set your watch to your destination time-zone - let your body know, “I should be sleeping”, which allows that shift to happen that little more quickly.
  • Get your Trtl Pillow Plus on - your Trtl Pillow Plus will support your head and neck, to help you relax and drift off.

There is nothing worse than feeling you are about to get to sleep and you are woken up by your head falling to one side or nodding forward and you get tight and sore muscles. When I use the Trtl Pillow Plus, I can switch off my neck muscles and I don't have to physically support my neck. This means my upper traps stay relaxed, and as a swimmer, if we over-use our trapezius muscle, we get a lot of tightness and that can impact your swimming and cause injuries.

Trtl Pillow Plus 

Using the Trtl Pillow Plus takes away that stress and strain. The height adjustability allows me to adjust to how my body feels on that particular day. I don’t have any change in temperature wearing it, which means I can fall asleep a lot more easily. Trtl Pillow Plus allows me to get myself set up properly, relax and then let my body switch off, and that's ideal for me.

Back the Trtl Pillow Plus on Kickstarter Today


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