Greetings from Asia: Floréal’s World Championships Journal

Kentucky track and field head coach Edrick Floréal is serving as head coach of Team USA at the IAAF World Championships this summer. His month leading the U.S. men’s national team in East Asia recently began with training camp in Narita, Japan. He sent back his initial impressions and clued us into his struggle through jet lag after he arrived in Japan.

Greetings from Japan
Day No. 1 - I departed Lexington at 9am and some 17.5 hours later arrived Japan by way of Narita International Airport. I passed the time on the flight by watching six movies, and having breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a snack. You have not experienced the true agony of flight until you sit on a plane for 11.5 hours (flight duration from the American west coast to Japan). Upon arrival, our team doctors told me to avoid sleeping or napping until the evening so that my body could adjust to the 12-hour time change. And per those same doctor’s orders I had not slept during the 17.5 hour trip. It was with great struggle and pain that I managed not to fall asleep for 30 hours, the last 11 hours being the most painful. 

Day No. 2 - Went to sleep at 11 p.m. woke up at 3 a.m., fell back a sheep got a while it seemed and woke up at 3:20 a.m., again went back to sleep for an extended period of time and woke back up at 3:40 a.m., so you catch my drift. Finally gave up and watched TV (in Japanese) off and on. 

Side note - when struggling with delirium a person actually can fool oneself that they understand Japanese. 

After breakfast and a four-hour facility tour we returned for lunch. I can't tell you all how excited I am to watch the group arriving today partake in their first night’s struggle. The Japanese people are extremely hospitable and take great pride in all they do. Their attention to detail and humbleness is a wonderful trait.

Floreal and some other Wildcats in and around the World Championships - track and field's biggest non-Olympic stage - will be checking back with UKathletics.com throughout this month leading up to meet in Beijing's Bird's Nest Aug. 22-30.