Jet Lag

I’m doing the Vancouver marathon next year and aiming for under 3:30, going to make the most of the trip and have a three-week holiday. I want the run to be at the beginning of my holiday (I think), so that I don't have to worry about what I'm eating, drinking and so on. So what I would like to know is;

"How long will it take for my body to recover from the Jet lag?

Can I shorten the amount of time, with certain preparations?

Where would you recommend I place race day (Sunday 4th May) in my three-week holiday?

Has anyone done the Vancouver Marathon that might be able to offer me some advice?



  • Hi Dan,
    For jet lag they generally say give yourself one day for each hour of time difference. So figuring that they are 8 hours behind here, you should leave yourself 8 days. Having said that I find that the jet lag in that direction is not so bad and usually after day 3 the ackward tiredness the creeps up on you unexpectedly will probably be gone. Plus the great thing is that going that direction you get up earlier in the morning and can easily go out and have some nice training runs in the morning before there is much traffic. I would recommend doin the marathon on day 4 or 5 of your trip.
    Fondly enough exercise is supposed to reduce the effects of jet lag! I've noticed a marked improvement in my jet lag experiences since I took up running 2 years ago. So get out there and run when you get there (but take it easy as pre-marathon)!
    Other theories on jet lag say try to spend as much time out in the daylight when you first get there.
  • Dan

    I agree with Linca - assuming you are arriving on day 1 (probably in the afternoon or early evening local time), you should allow for at least 2 days rest and jet lag recovery before the race. So day 4 would be the earliest.
  • Cheers Linca and Donutto

    Do you think that there would be a benifit in adopting the Canadian time a couple of days before my trip, preparing my body for the time difference?

    Thanx for the advice guy's!!!
  • A good homoeopathic remedy for jet lag is Arnica 10M. You can get this in Neal's yard or somewhere like that. I found it worked a treat when I flew to Oz.
    Having said this, I agree with above that flying in that direction is better than the other way round.
    Good luck!
  • Dan,
    Don't usually do too much in the way of preparing pre-going. Will stay up maybe an hour to two hours later than normal 2 or 3 nights before trip and wake up about an hour later than normal the next day. Anything more than that seems to be overkill. Also find it helpful to take maybe an hour nap on the plane (or rest with eyes closed since I find it difficult to sleep on planes). This makes it possible to stay up until a decent bedtime (9 or 10pm) when you get there (instead of wanting to go to bed at 7pm).
  • I'd back what the others are saying. Going west is definitely easier that going east for the jet lag. Saying that, last time i went to the US, i seemed to be bouncing around on a high for the first couple of days. Not sure what it was, although i made a point of drinking plenty of water on the flight over there and staying outdoors as much as possible when iarrived.
    Good luck for the race and let us know how you get on.
  • Hi everyone. I've just read the jet lag thread and found it extremely useful as I'm planning to run the Buller marathon in NZ south island next Feb. I appear to have reached intuitively for a similar conclusion to others in deciding to run on day 7 of my holiday.
    Anyone with any further relevant experience to pass on?
  • perhaps i can get some advice as well

    I return america the day before cranleigh 15/21m race should i really give this a miss or will i be ok to use it as a slow training run for FLM.

    i know its a few monhts away but like a good boy scout i like to be prepared

  • Dan, I'm so envious, I love Vancouver. Great shopping, wonderful food, nice people.

    When I flew there in February this year, I didn't have any problems with jet lag.

    You must do a run in Stanley Park; it's lovely. Look out for the black squirrels! I would also recommend a trip on a seaplane and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

    Just save stuffing yourself with sushi until after the marathon!
  • John Boy, I don't know how much flying you've done so how you'll feel after returning from the US the day before Cranleigh. However, i always feel like s**t on returning to the UK on an eastward flight. Don't know what it is, but i arrive back in the UK generally tired and lethargic and just want to howl and sleep (that's howl with tears of tiredness and frustration, not howling at the moon a la Wolfy!!)
    Depends how you handle flying - I'd give it a miss.
  • Agree with DS. Getting back to the UK is worse, because I'll I want to do is sleep in in the morning. The first two days are really yucky and usually involve me and a couch and taped copies of the TV shows I missed while away.
    My suggestion is for arriving in the UK (if you arrive in the morning), when you get home take a nap and set your alarm to wake you up so that you don't sleep later than about 1 pm. This way you should be able to get through the rest of the day okay. The second day for me always seems the hardest.
    I definitely would not do a race within 3 days of flying to or from the US. A gentle training run okay. Even a longer run is okay if you are up for it, but not a race, if you don't want to feel disappointed by your performance and time. Plus there are plenty of half marathons going on in the South in March, so way don't you chose one of them on the next weekend (or the weekend before you leave)?
  • Must proofread messages before posting. My fingers seem to type without first checking with my brain which words to use.
  • Linca/DS
    Thanks for the advice...must admit my thinking was going that way.Probably just run a quite few miles and see how it goes. I'm just a bit worried about mileage for FLM but suppose i've got plenty of time between now and then to reduce mileage for couple of weeks.
    Will try to do long run morning of holiday and run every other day whilst away.
    Probably worrying to soon and to early!!

  • Jet lag is only a real problem when flying back to the UK from the US. I flew to Chicago arriving mid Friday afternoon (US time) and did the marathon on Sunday morning with no tiredness problems. In fact it was good. Local time for the marathon was 0730 but my body thought it was midday, so I was very wide awake. Given the choice, an extra day might have been safer, but I found it fine. Flying the other way? Totally different story. Knackered for 3 or 4 days. There's a perfectly rational reason for the difference if you think about it.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    I always try to move to 'destination' time when I check in, as this helps to avoid jet lag.
    When I did NY took a midday flight on Friday,got there about midday, felt fine.
    Similarly I try to do this coming east,not quite so easy but if you get a flight mid afternoon and try to sleep (UK time around midnight) then when you arrive early morning you don't feel too bad. (Bit tired,but not what I'd call jet lag).

    Enjoy the run!
  • How about long flights (NZ in my case) and dep vein thrombosis? Or at least some tried-and-tested tips for avoiding stiffening up on the long flight or for getting over any muscular effects?
  • of course, you could always get a jetlag visor ...

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    used to fly to Sydney/Melbourne on business a few times,and used the 'move to destination' time then.Worked OK but it depends which flight you get.
    I find getting a breakfast flight,arriving early evening is best outward (stay up as long as you can on arrival)
    And an afternoon flight arriving at dawn homewards is great.You stay awake until the stopover in Asia, then get 10-12 hours sleep into London.
    I'm one of those who walks around a lot and drinks a lot of water (so needing the loo) so I always get an aisle seat so DVT isn't an issue.
  • Dustin's point on hydration is as important in my mind as getting over the jet lag induced exhaustion of flying. I don't know how many days it takes to fully hydrate after a long flight, but it must be several. The stress on the body when racing is very different to a training run, and time is needed to recover.

    I usually pull on the trainers immediately after a 9 hour flight to the USA on landing and find it a great pick me up. But experiences this year of racing 13 miles two days after landing, and running a 19 miler long training run the day after flying to Alaska were both very uncomfortable.
  • I know it takes up to 48hrs to rehydrate, and I'm sure if you were drinking plenty of water (little and often) then you'd find you'd be well hydrated. Easyest way to know if your hydrated is to look at your urine, it should almost be clear.
Sign In or Register to comment.