Running and jet lag

by Alan
(St Kilda, Australia)

What is the best way of dealing with running and jet lag challenges ?

"Hi Marius,

I have just returned from a trip to US and I suffered badly from jet lag (both going there and coming back).

With my planned trip to Berlin in September, I have only 3 days before the race to acclimatise and I have a concern that my performance will be affected.

How have you managed this in your professional career and can you offer me any tips?


Answer: Hi Alan, there has actually been some studies of this before the Sydney Olympics where I ran myself (and had to deal with a jet lag of 10+hours)

This is how it goes : Either you pretty much go over and run at around 2-3 days after the travel like you plan to OR you should have two days pr timezone (I did that before the Olympics, about 20 days pre-race) Either way, at around a week post-travel there seems to be a downtime and you do not want to race at that time.

My advice is like this : two easy days of running BEFORE travelling (really, really important not to run hard those days).

Then when you land in Berlin, ideally the same day 3 x 1500 meters intervals at a comfortable pace (Effort 3) - ideally on cinder/gravel. Next day rest or 20 minutes jog. The day before the race another 30 minutse jog.

What this does is to quickly get your body into "running rythm" as early as possible with the 3 x 1500 which is a very short session and not hard - at the same time you get your body going abit in the "right" timezone. I've found this to work really well when travelling back and forth to the US for example (and racing right thereafter)

The main mistake people do is :

1) too hard training the two days before the travel.
2) not touching "race speed" at all after entering the new zone.

In addition to that I recommend using Melatonin the first night in the new timezone (not thereafter, only the first night). Important though : to get the full effect of this stay awake 100 % of the time when you enter the new timezone and do not try and sleep during the day for a few hours. Wait until night comes.

I wish you all the best with the running and dealing with jetlag !

Kind regards,

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Running Marathon and jet lag

by Scott
(Riverside, CA)

How to deal with jet lag and running :


I have been using your 100 day program with great success. Now my only concern is jetlag. I have to fly from the West Coast of the US to Amsterdam leaving two days before the marathon and arriving the morning of (15 hours of flying, 9 time zones). Can you reccommend anything I can do to ease the jetlag symptoms?

Answer Hi Scott, I've answered this here : Jet lag and marathon racing

This pretty much goes for you as well - with the easy running the days before. But since you will race so close to the landing, I recommend keeping the day rythm as "normal" as possible and VERY important : when you arrive Amsterdam do not go to sleep in the afternoon the arrival day - wait until at least 7-8 at night and do not take naps during the day. Use a small jog to help you do that. That will make the change much more difficult, if you take extra sleep during the day. Try your best to stay awake until you go to bed for the night!

All the best,

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Training and overseas travel

by Geir
(Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Training and overseas travel :

"I'm in the final stages of the program (week 14) and I'm going on a business travel from US to Europe for the entire week. Do you have any remarks on training and long distanse travel. Influence of time difference, irregular working hours and mayby new food.
I often find running a excellent way of getting to know new places/cities. This time I will be in Lisbon for the first time.


Answer: A general thought on this : the heart rate tends to be influnced the first 5-7 days after a time zone change, by about 5-10 beats. So you want to lower the heart rate according to that, do avoid running too hard. The same with speed. In order to have maximum performance you need about 1 day pr timezone change. Other than that, running on travel is no problem at all.


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