Marathon Training Update: The Sleep Factor

sleep homor simpsonSorry I’ve been lax in blogging lately.  Just extraordinarily busy with work, family, and church.  Saturday I ran the same 11-mile loop through several parks as I did last Saturday.  Only this time thanks to the online route mapping sites brought to my attention I knew it was 11 miles and so I didn’t quit 2 miles early.  But perhaps the biggest thing impacting my training these days is lack of sleep.

My Kids Stole My Z’s
I have a 7-month-old daughter who we wake up at 10:30 PM to give one last bottle in the hopes she’ll sleep all the way through the night.  I also make breakfast and help get my four and six year old ready for school.  So, I can’t go to bed before eleven and I have to get up at five to have enough time to run and cool off breakfast duty calls.  So, best cast scenario I get 6 hours of sleep before a run and usually it’s closer to 5.

Fantasy Football Does Me In
Then comes last night… opening weekend of the NFL season… I’ve been a part of a fantasy football league with my wife’s family the last several years.  This weekend I was matched up against my father-in-law, the defending champion.  I’m losing by 32 points (112-80) after Sunday but I’ve got Frank Gore, Edgerin James, and Chad Johnson while my father-in-law has Carson Palmer.  In the first Monday Night Football game Palmer and Johnson each put up 15 points, so I’m still down by 32 with just 2 players left.

The second MNF game starts at like 10:30 PM, so I decide I’ll just watch a little bit of it.  Gore and James both score TDs in the first quarter and all of the sudden I’m only down by 10.  Before I know it it’s half time… and midnight… I’m so close to pulling off the come back… I’ll just stay up a little longer… plus do a little work while I’m up and that will save me time tomorrow…  end of the 3rd quarter… 1 AM… only down by 6… come on, somebody just score a TD so I can go to bed… short run here, short run there… next thing I know I’m waking up on the couch and it’s 1:45 AM… the last few seconds tick off the clock… I check my computer… Dale 127 – Paul 125 🙁

3 Hours Later…
And the worst part was waking up 3 hours later and running 5 miles.  I swear there were several times during the run where I would see a nice lawn and think to myself, “You know, if I were to lay down there I bet I would be asleep inside of a minute.”  But I didn’t quit. Ran the whole 5 miles.  Don’t remember the time but I think it was a minute or two slower than last week.

Sleep Factor
So, my questions for today are…

  • How much does sleep (or lack there of) impact your performance?
  • Do you do anything special to ensure a good night’s sleep when you have a run the next day?

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