Optimized Training for Pilots and Aircrew

I’ve coached pilots to agegroup championships and Kona starting lines.

The #1 thing we learned was to take advantage of schedule flexibility by minimizing the cost, in fatigue, of their work schedule.

The goal is a rapid return to training.

  1. Resist the urge to frontload fatigue => have yourself heading “up” as you start a work block
  2. No zeros – on the road => train easy, near dawn

Load when, and where, you are most able to recover => at home

Stay out of the restaurants – nutrition is where you can make progress


Because a little weight gain, each trip, adds up.

Nutrition also ties into getting yourself back to loading as fast as possible.

  • Sliced peppers
  • Lightly boiled, quartered mini carrots
  • Nuts
  • Sumo Orange (easy to peel)
  • Boiled eggs or sliced chicken breast
  • Mini Hummus
  • Pita Chips
  • Giant nalgene water bottle

All you need to do is open a bag, or pop the lid.

Remove as much friction as possible between yourself and better food choices.

Every replaced restaurant meal is a WIN.

Rack those wins up.

Stay in your sleep schedule – use seniority to select routes that let you move and sleep well.

When you’re on the road: eye shades, earplugs, cold room and backup ear protection in case there’s a rave happening outside your window.

Consistent progress is about the return, not what you manage while working.

So you can execute when you’re tired, keep it simple and remove friction.

  • Go into work on the upswing
  • Focus on nutrition – win by staying out of the restaurants
  • Train easy, near dawn
  • Sleep cold, quiet and dark

Pilot’s Paradox => if big goals nudge you to make better chocies at work, you can be healthier, and happier, with significant training load.