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Dec 20, 2012

Sleep - it does a body good.

Rest day on the schedule today.  Boy, I sure need it.  I ran a race on Saturday, my long run on Sunday, then started marathon training Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Four days in a row is really my max so I'm happy it's rest day today.  Speaking of rest day, it's somewhat related to today's topic - sleep.

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This week I did a 5 mile run on Wednesday.  It was a good run.  No, it was a great run.  I don't have that many great runs but this one was great.  I couldn't figure out why this one was so great but have a feeling it had to do with my sleep.  See, the night before I went to bed a 1/2 hour earlier than usual.  I think that extra 1/2 hour really made the difference in a good run versus a great run.

What it also did was give me almost 8 hours sleep which I think makes a difference.  Think about the elite runners out there.  If you have ever wondered how they run the miles they do, I think sleep has a lot to do with it.  Not only are they getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night but there also seems to typically be one or two naps during the day in between runs.

I think it's why it amazes me when you see an elite runner that also works full time too.  They certainly lack the necessary rest they need to perform at their best but still seem to do incredible.  Well, at least in my eyes they do incredible things.

So my opinion is that sleep is a necessary thing to include in your training program.  I believe you will train better and perform better and while I know it's not always easy to get in a full 8 hours(I don't most nights), I believe you see improvements because of it.  I can barely function on 6 hours sleep much less get up and run a 10-20 mile training run.  I need that rest so I go to bed early(9:30pm usually) and I'm up at 4:45-5am so I'm usually getting at least seven hours which seems to work for me.  Of course, by the time 9:30 comes, I'm out.

What do you think?  How do you handle this during your training?

2 comments:

  1. Sleep is amazing! Just this week, I have been getting up later since my semester is over (though I am still busy prepping for next semester) and it feels great. I had a great run yesterday, too. Not sure if I fully attribute it to sleep (I had had a rest day the day before...) but it is definitely a factor.

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  2. I wish I could sleep more than I do. With an infant daughter, working full time AND being a runner, it's not in the cards. I go to bed between 9-10pm and am up at 4am to take care of a few things before heading out the door at 5am. I prefer to run in the morning so that I can spend my evenings with my infant and son. Once she is a bit older, I won't be nursing (TMI) and it will allow for me to sleep until 4:30am. :-)

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