Flying Athletes

My fellow athlete and compatriot Johan Stemmet is flying to Argentina when he should be really be training for an Ironman. I'm currently abroad and have been living out of a suitcase for the last few days in airport lounges and English-themed hotels, so thought it best to share little tips for the flying athlete:
  1. Always book an aisle seat. You'll be drinking regularly so you will be visiting the loo pretty often.
  2. Make sure you bring your own snack food for the flight. Fresh fruit and almonds are cool. Customs only have issues if you bring dairy and meat (aargh - no biltong!) into their country.
  3. Buy water once you are through the security gates. Remember, security will confiscate liquids not less than 100ml's.
  4. Get into your socks for the flight. Compression socks are a good idea.
  5. Do the alphabet with each foot as the plane takes off. Good for blood circulation and making sure your feet don't swell up (as mine seem to do for long haul flights).
  6. Bring a neck pillow, sleeping goggles, ear plugs for sleeping. I got caught off-guard on my latest flight without ears plugs and with a crying baby a row ahead of me.
  7. Do not drink alcohol. It dehydrates you, plays with your sleep patterns, plus - real athletes don't booze (before Ironman).
  8. Stretch every time you go to the loo. You'll get some weird looks but just hang in there.
  9. Do not eat the dessert or scrambled eggs/sausages/bacon. These bloat the tummy and block you up. Rather have a piece of fruit or some trail mix.
  10. Make friends with the air hostess. It's good for karma and when you need to ask for more water or some tomato juice.
  11. No more than one movie. You need your sleep more.

Up, up and away,



  1. Hey good tips, going to print it out and stick it in my suit case. Can you explain doing the alphabet with your feet, not familiar with this rule...thx

  2. Take your shoes off and using one foot at a time, pretend you have a pen between your toes and are trying to write the alphabet. I find this helpful for my calves, Achilles tendons, toes, and in helping me relax after all the walking between terminals and check in desks. Bon voyage!