Jet Lag and Racing

Well this is a good topic for me, as half the time I am very last minute in my decisions to participate in an event, so I don't always ideally have the correct preparation. Which is what I like, the unknown and the uncertainty, very different from most other athletes that prepare and train for months, or even years.

From my own experience I find I can pick an event the day before turn up the next day and race well. Im sure If I did plan better I may get better results sometimes.

The events I have prepared most for in my career are

Worlds Toughest Mudder, all 4 of them

La Ultra 222km through the himalayas

Enduro True Grit 24hr Aussie Titles, 1 out of 4 of these events

Firstly Ill start by saying its not unheard of for me, and I wold even say its common for me to decide on an event the week before. Leaving making my decision til the last minute. I have missed out on a few events because of this, with them filling up or just not practical with such late planning.

When I have travelled to WTM 3 out of 4 times made sure I had 4 days to rest and recover from the flight over.

The general rule is to allow 1 day of adaption per time zone crossed. So Sydney to Vegas was about 5 zones. I may have performed better by giving myself an extra day or 2, but o into a 24hr race I dont think it would have made much difference as you are awake and moving for a full day anyway.

Its always more impact on your health and body travelling from west to east. So keep that in mind, especially for crossing 5+ time zones. You may require more time to adapt. One other strategy is to keep your body running at the same time zone or slowly strat to change your timings before you leave to travel. Start moving your meal times and sleep times to reflect that closer to the time zone you will be travelling to.

When I travelled to India, to compete in my 222km Ultra I allowed 2 weeks for my body to adapt, this also had many more factors though including a much higher altitude than I have ever been at before. Altitude plays a massive effect, ill leave that for another blog.

My advice to you would be keep it simple.

1. If you are short on time and cant spend days adapting to the new time zone either adopt the method of slowly changing your current routine to reflect that of the time zone you are travelling to.


2. keep the same routine at the place you are travelling to and work around that, this may be difficult if places you need to attend and people you need to see are operating at the times you are asleep.


3. Allow 1 day of recovery and adaptation per time zone travelled before your event, presentation or whatever it is you have to have your A-Game for.

An important factor to consider is travelling always causes dehydration. Make sure you stay hydrated as this can have just as much a negative effect on your performance as jet lag.

This gives you some basic insight into adjusting for different time zones in relation to participating in an event. If you want more info please contact me or dig deep into some research on the internet. There is plenty of information out there, and most of it is similar.

If you want more detailed information please comment below and if I have enough comments I can go into a lot more detail and depth regarding calculations for jet lag and time zones.


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