Elite athletes often have to travel long distances to compete, and many times have to perform with little time to recover. This review looked at the research regarding the effect of long haul travel on athletic performance.
In regards to performance metrics, measures of strength (grip test) and muscular power (countermovement jump) appear to be more significantly affected when compared to running assessments and competition output (more ecologically valid measures), which in some cases were actually seen to have improved.
Despite inducing jetlag, and altering some physiological measures and performance outcomes for between 3-11 days post-flight, it appears that due to the mutli-faceted nature of sports performance, athletes are often able to compensate and perform at their optimal levels. The research in this area, however, is still inconclusive. Optimal preparation for competition following long haul travel likely needs to be tailored to the individual athlete based on their personal responses.