How to Stay Race Ready When Crossing Time Zones

When you spend a lot of time and money preparing for an event that requires a flight through multiple time zones, you don't want the feat of just getting there to impact your race performance.

It is possible to minimize the physical impacts of long-distance travel; but it takes some preparation and planning.

What Time Is it There?

Know that not every city, state and country adjusts their clocks according to Daylight Savings Time, and those that do "spring forward" on different dates. The first step is to know the difference between your home time and the place you intend to travel.

For this column, I'll use an example of traveling from Denver International Airport to Lyon, France. If you won't be flying out of the Mountain Time Zone, you can still use the principles in the column and just adjust them for your own time zone.

Taking the example for travel in July, there will be eight hours difference in time between Denver and France. A brief reference table is given below:

 

Denver, Colorado

Lyon, France

6:00 am

2:00 pm

8:00 am

4:00 pm

10:00 am

6:00 pm

12:00 pm

8:00 pm

2:00 pm

10:00 pm

4:00 pm

12:00 am

6:00 pm

2:00 am

8:00 pm

4:00 am

10:00 pm

6:00 am

12:00 am

8:00 am

2:00 am

10:00 am

4:00 am

12:00 pm

 

Though it is easy to do the math in your head, I suggest you make yourself a reference table like the one in this column. A quick reference table helps you keep the numbers straight when fatigue sets in. The table can keep you from making errors when making any travel connections (you can have more than two columns) and when phoning home.

See the various time zones on a world map.

Planning for Success

When you are preparing for a successful trip, there are several items you can pick up to make travel easier and reduce the effects of jet lag. You can find a list of some of the items in the column Enjoy the Journey: Tips for Easy Long-Distance Travel.

The goal is to arrive at your destination feeling as good as, or better than, when you left home. If you are racing, you want your body and legs to feel great. If you are providing race support or planning to enjoy a great vacation, you don't want to feel sluggish and as though you are viewing the world through a fog for the first several days after arrival.

Before departing, adjust your daily schedule and begin "living" in the new time zone. Depending on where you are flying, however, this can be easier said than done. If it becomes logistically impossible to move towards the new time zone while you're still at home, don't worry. You can still minimize the impact by using other strategies which we'll discuss later in the column.

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