Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, August 01, 2005

Resuming daily updates


It is August 1. Time to start updating this page on a daily (roughly) basis.

The topic has got to be the upcoming WOC, which begins in just a few days.

I've spent a little time reading reports from orienteers who will race at the WOC. The commong theme -- dealing with travel and jet lag. Japan is a long way from Europe or North America. Getting to Japan means spending a lot of time on an airplane and then dealing with the time difference (Japan is 7 hours off from Sweden and 14 hours off from Kansas City).

In the last month, I spent over 40 hours sitting in airplanes. That's a lot. I had plenty of time to think about how to travel comfortably. I changed times zones a couple of times -- KC to Mongolia (14 hours), Mongolia to KC (14 hours), KC to Portland (2 hours), and Portland to KC (2 hours).

A couple of thoughts:

It strikes me there are two ways to sleep on airplanes. You can take a sleeping pill and try to sleep for a reasonable amount of time or you can try to take lots of short naps. The problem with trying to sleep for long periods of time is that you can get extremely sore from airplane seats. The problem with lots of short naps is you might not get much sleep.

To combat the discomfort of sitting in a plane, I take aspirin. It seems to help. I don't get nearly as sore from the discomfort of sitting in one position. Of course, I also pile up pillows and try to get as comfortable as possible.

For my flights to/from Mongolia, I went with lots of short naps rather than taking a sleeping pill. I've usually taken a sleeping pill for long flights. I was pleasantly surprised with how well I was able to survive the travel with short naps. I recovered from the trip very quickly (much better than previous trips to Europe). In general, I'm a big fan of the 20 (or 30) minute nap.

Check out this photo of a couple of Norwegian WOC runners sleeping on the flight. It looks like they are trying for the long sleep rather than lots of short naps.

posted by Michael | 6:18 PM


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