Now that my personal off-season is almost over, I’ve been thinking about how to prepare for my upcoming races. I used to think that I just need to get my long runs and my weekly mileage in, and that’s it. But apparently I was wrong. When you are training for a race, you also need to care about proper fuel and recovery.
What to eat before, during, and after training runs or races is a very personal thing, and I’m still trying to figure it out, but I really love the running fuel tips over at NoMeatAthlete.com. And Caitlin from the blog HealthyTippingPoint.com wrote a great post about how to recover quickly after long, tough runs.
But today’s post is about the one thing that I’m struggling with the most: Sleep! Because of my job I have to get up at 5:30 am every morning. But as I’m a natural night owl, I have a hard time going to bed before 11 pm. As I can’t fall asleep immediately, I get about 6 hours of sleep per night. While this is enough for many people, it is definitely not enough for me, especially when I’m going to increase my weekly mileage again. I’ve already noticed, that I’m very tired on most days, struggling with lack of concentration all day long. The problem is, all the sleepiness is gone after 9 pm, so I usually can’t motivate myself to go to bed at a (for me!) reasonable time.
For a while I’ve tried to simply accept my current situation, thinking that I don’t really need more sleep, that I’m totally fine with only 6 hours per night during the week, as long as I can sleep in on the weekends, but this approach just isn’t working on a long-term basis.
So here’s the deal: During the month of February, I’ll try to go to bed at 10:30 pm on Monday to Thursday, which should give me about half an hour of extra sleep per night. Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it’s a start. Additionally, I hope to improve my quality of sleep, which will include turning off my laptop about 30 minutes before bedtime, and a few other strategies.
How long do you sleep? Do you feel like it is enough?