I always wondered how competitors got on a long haul fight during peak week.
How do they track macros when going though time zones?
How do they minimise water retention?
What do they eat? Can they take food on the flight?
How do they manage jet lag and sleep?
Anyway, a 1000 questions I got answers to when I embarked on my first international show for the WBFF European Championships in London.
My flight out of Sydney was booked for 9.50pm Sunday. 14hr fight to Abu Dhabi then 8hr flight on to London.
I’d arrive London at 12pm Monday afternoon.
So how do I travel through time zones, ensure I don’t over eat, not holding water and be rested?
So heres what my flight plan looked like and this really helped me landing in London feeling the best I've ever felt after a long haul flight.
I trained legs Sunday afternoon before flying to make sure I would be tired for the flight and well to get one last leg session in before peak week officially started.
My macros for Sunday I had consumed before flying as my flight was a night flight at 9.50pm and my macros for Monday were a higher protein moderate fat, low carb, to help with satiety and reduce the risk water retention.
Note:You can bring food on the flight! It just wasn't kept cold.
I packed 2 kangaroo sausages and 30g of cashews for my first meal (my lesson learnt from this is pack extra food).
My plan was to have my first meal Monday morning UK time after I woke at 9am. I should have realised that would mean almost 24hrs of no food! So I actually ate this meal at my stop over in Abu Dhabi and bought a plain salad to have with it, it was more like just lettuce!
I also carried with me protein powder for an emergency, it was definitely used!
Note: Flight attendants think there is something wrong with you when you turn down meals and snacks, I was a asked if i was ok a lot :-)
To assist with flushing any water retention, for the hours I was a awake I would consume 500ml of water every hour. The flight attendants were actually very nice in giving me a 1.5L bottle every few hours instead of that small glass you usually get.
This also helped to curb hunger.
This was super important that I got this right to ensure that I would be well rested and get my body adjusted to the time zone as soon as possible.
So here was the sleep plan. The first leg 14hrs:
2X 2hr sleep intervals on the first leg 11pm to 1am Sydney time and then 11pm to 12am London time. No more than this to ensure I am still tired for the second leg where I would get a good sleep.
Let me just tell you after doing a GVT leg session Sunday afternoon I was freaking tired so trying to stay awake on this 14hr leg was hard! The flight was also not full so I had a row to myself to lay down in.
Tips for sleeping on a flight: Eye mask is essential, noise cancelling head phones, you don’t realise how noisy an aircraft is until you use these! Comfy clothes!
When you are heading down for a nights sleep its good to follow a routine that you would do at home, get changed, brush your teeth etc, it helps the body and the mind to register its bed time.
Second leg was when I got to get 6hrs sleep. Prior to flying I tested out a supplement called Oxidreams which assist with sleep. It helped the nights before lying, so before bed time (or flight bed time) I took 1.5 scoops of this with water.
From a carefully planned out spreadsheet of time zones and sleep schedule I had a block from 4am-9am London time to bed down for the night. This was a few hours after boarding the flight from Abu Dhabi to London.
This schedule was based around the time in London and to aid my body in adjusting to the time zone as quick as possible to minimise the effects of Jet-lag. Rather than just sleeping whenever, it was carefully planned out.
This really helped a lot in getting off the flight feeling well rested and not over tired. It also meant that after landing in London I would be ok to stay awake all day and head to bed at a normal time in London.
Arriving in London:
If I was better planned, i would of had more food with me. because after landing, getting my bag, getting on the tube and walking to my apartment it was 3pm. I hadn't eaten in like 24hrs! I was HANGRY!
The first thing I did, after eating a perfect macro friendly meal of Chicken, broccoli and rice form Protein Haus (amazing clean and easy prep meals for anyone in London!) was train with my girl Lauren Simpson.
I went and hit an upper body session to get the blood bumping and to keep busy and not fall asleep.
The best thing to do after a fight s to get moving whether that be a walk or a light session.
It took me all week to adjust to the time zone, i would wake up at 3am/4am but that could be excitement of my show too.