Thursday, August 25, 2011

Low Energy Runs: Sleep

As I'm nearing the end of analyzing Coach Jenny's 6 Reasons for Low Energy Runs, I've become increasingly aware of all of the mistakes I'm making. While I've certainly known that I'm not nearly as dedicated to the 26.2 as I should be, I'm realizing that I've been entirely too lenient, giving myself far too many undeserved pats on the back. 

Today, I'm taking a look at my sleeping habits and how they're affecting my training (via Ask Coach Jenny)...

Sleep. A vast number of studies are validating the importance of sleep for optimal life performance. It's even more important when you are pushing your body in training. American women's marathon record-holder Deena Kastor noted on her website after having her first child, "Gone are the days of 12 hours of sleep." When you push, you need quality sleep to recover. One of the best benefits of long runs is the permission to nap.

As much as I struggle to wake up in the morning, I typically catch plenty of shuteye each night. It's one of the perks about this stage in my life that I do not take for granted (and I have the utmost respect for all the parents I know that get by with little to no sleep). Even so, my sleeping habits aren't the healthiest. I almost always stay up too late and hardly ever wake up early enough to run in the morning (when I'm at my best). I think this is one of the more difficult habits to break because it's such a natural and subconscious habit. 

I'm starting a new job in just a couple of weeks and will have an entirely different routine (no commute!), so I think this will be a great opportunity to alter my sleep schedule. I'm hoping to force myself into bed at an earlier hour so I can wake up, knock out my run and scurry along to work (it sounds so easy in my head).

In the meantime, I'm currently enjoying two weeks of unemployment. So if I can't squeeze in plenty of shuteye right now, then I'm pretty sure I never will. 

How much are y'all sleeping? What makes you feel your best?

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