Yesterday, I started looking around the web for more advice specific to the Disney Marathon. The official Disney Marathon website is good and offers a lot of important information, but I was looking for some unofficial information from people who have done the Disney Marathon. I found a very helpful site where I got most of my questions answered. I’ll talk about that in a bit, but there’s one big question I’m thinking through this morning…
The marathon starts at 6 AM, and the official Disney Marathon materials say runners should be in the Epcot parking lot by 4 AM. That means waking up somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 AM. I’m used to going to bed around 11 PM. And considering I’ll be sleeping in a hotel and excited about the marathon the next morning, chances are I’m not going to sleep all that well.
It’s a bit concerning to me that I’ll be taking on the most physically demanding task of my life and lack of sleep could be a significant factor.
Great Disney Marathon Site
Yesterday, while searching online for information specific to the Disney Marathon, was very excited to find DisneyRunning.com which has a excellent, highly trafficed forum. Yesterday, I posted several Disney-specific questions about how to get to the marathon from a non-Disney hotel, when do I really need to be there, when should my family try to get to the finish line to get a seat in the bleachers, and so forth. I got responses from several Disney veterans. (Thank you!)
Back to Sleep
So, as I was saying about sleep… I am an early riser, but the prospect of getting up at 3 AM has me concerned that I’ll be really tired even before I start the marathon.
I’ve started trying to shift my sleep schedule. Monday night I went to bed at 10. I got up at 5 and did my last run before the marathon, a short 3 miler. Tuesday and Wednesday I went to bed again at 10 and set my alarm for 5. (Having 3 kids under the age of 7, a couple of hours of quiet before everyone else wakes up is kind of nice.)
I think I’ll try to go to bed at 9:30 tonight and get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning. Then Friday night I might shoot for going to bed at 9.
It will be tough to go to bed at 9 Friday night. My kids don’t always get to bed before 9. We’ll be doing the 2 hour drive from our home to Orlando Saturday morning and I know there will be a strong desire to get everything packed the night before. My wife is an early packer, but I usually don’t get to packing my bag or the car until after the kids go to bed the night before we leave.
If I get up at 4 AM Saturday morning, though, that should give me plenty of time to pack the car and still leave at a reasonable hour. And it should leave me tired enough to go to bed by 9 PM Saturday night. If I can get 6 hours of sleep the night before the marathon hopefully that will be good enough. It’s probably the best I can hope for.
I’d be curious to hear from other marathoners. Is sleep the night before the marathon a big deal? Do you try to shift your sleep schedule the last few days before the marathon? Any other sleep-related advice?
3 thoughts on “How to Get a Good Night of Sleep Before the Marathon”
I’d love to hear about how your ‘sleep experience’ worked out. Just got to your blog through the Reveal blog where they posted you.
I’m a pastor in Corpus Christi, TX and I also happen to be training for a marathon and I’m gonna run my first 1/2 marathon in 38 days and I’ve been wondering about that whole sleep thing too. . .
Our Children’s Pastor is also at the Disney Marathon this weekend as her son-in-law is running it. Have a great time! Press on bro!
Thanks for your message. I found running a half marathon was a good experience. I had never run in any sort of official race (if you want to call it that), so it gave me some idea of what that was like. I wish you the best in your marathon training. Stop by afterwards and let me know how it went.
I’d also be intersted to hear your thoughts on Reveal.
I’ve always heard that it’s not your sleep the night before the race that matters, but the night before that. So I try to get a good night’s sleep two nights before the marathon. If nothing else, this belief helps to reduce the anxiety if I don’t sleep too well the night before.