Flying After a Marathon

Taking a flight the day after your marathon? Here's Hal Higdon's suggestion for speeding your recovery.

Have a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I will be running the Boston Marathon this year and flying back to California the next morning. Would you recommend compression pants/tights for the flight? I have found a pair, but they are (relatively) pricey. Other than the flight back after the marathon, I am sure that I would use them again, so I wanted some feedback before reaching for my credit card.


It sounds like you’re on to something. I wish you had suggested this idea several years ago when I went to Athens for the 2,500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon. I got off the plane barely able to walk and had to scrub my plans to run a celebratory 10-K race in connection with the Athens Marathon. I can’t back up my endorsement with any medical studies, but when I posted your question on my Facebook page, I got a lot of positive feedback including attitudes like mine: “Why hadn’t I thought of that before?” Consider also scheduling a massage for the day after you return from Boston. Coincidentally, another runner from Australia contacted me wondering if compression socks might be advisable to wear during her flight to Boston this year. Yes, that sounded like a good idea too.