How to arrive fit and healthy after a long haul flight
Everybody who has been on a long haul flight before knows that sitting still within a confined space at 30,000ft of altitude can cause some physical discomforts. You have looked forward to your international Marathon for ages so you don’t want the small matter of your travel over to your destination to spoil your experience.
At Sports Tours International, we work with Virgin Atlantic and with British Airways to provide flight inclusive travel packages to the Boston Marathon, the Tokyo Marathon and the New York City Marathon. Our overseas Marathon team have welcomed and assisted many runners in the past so here are some of their tips to arrive fit and healthy.
Spending all that time in a pressurised environment has the same effect on your body as being at altitude for hours at a time which can cause oxygen levels in your body to significantly drop and your body’s hydration levels may also be affected which is not great ahead of running a Marathon.
Below are a few tips on how to arrive fit and healthy and ready to run after a long haul flight:
The main things you want to avoid are: dehydration, blood clotting and a drop in your body’s oxygen levels as these definitely do not enhance your running performance and enjoyment.
Don’t drink alcohol or eat too many salty foods
Drink lots of water but not too much
Take regular walks and move around in the cabin
Wear compression socks as they can help prevent blood collecting in the lower limbs and swelling
Taking low-dose aspirin before, during and after the flight has been shown to help thin the blood so clotting is less likely
Wear loose fitting, technical breathable clothing – your’re a runner, you must have lots of this kind of gear!
Fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner
In 2018 a non-stop flight to Australia will become reality thanks to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The 17-hour flight from London to Perth will start services in March 2018. These new aircraft are a great choice for traveling athletes as they ensure that you arrive in better shape so you can better deal with the affects of jet lag. These aircraft have more natural light because they have larger windows and they also have LED mood lighting and more space inside with wider aisles and higher ceilings. They are also a lot quieter and fly higher and faster. Another great benefit is that there is a lower cabin pressure and moister air inside the cabin. This means that you can absorb more oxygen which in turns stops dehydration and headaches.
British Airways operates Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on most of their long haul flight destinations from the UK as do Virgin Atlantic. On our running events you may fly on Virgin Atlantic Dreamliners on a number of London routes including to Boston and New York JFK. Virgin have stated that these routes are not 100% operated by 787s as there can be aircraft swaps.
During the flight :
Sit up right and correctly by using a pillow in the hollow of your back and use another for your head
Try to keep your shoulders relaxed throughout
Avoid crossing your legs because this will help your back and cirulation
Take a walk every 1-2 hours and do the following excercises –
SHOULDER CIRCLES forwards and backwards while sitting or standing.
NECK ROLLS (remove head sets)
STANDING – -stretch tall
ANKLE ROLLS- rotate each foot while sitting
CALF EXCERCISES –point your toes forwards and backwards
When You Arrive:
Take a walk outdoors to help you reset your biological clock more quickly. Exercise lightly because it helps you to keep awake during the day and sleep better at night. Do not overdo your running though, because you’ll be doing a marathon in a few days anyway, so you should be following a tapering program. Although easier said than done, avoid napping because it delays your body’s adjustment to the new time zone. If you must nap, limit it to one hour or less.