Sleep is the one element not listed on marathon and Ultra marathon training plans that should be part of the training plans.
We have to get up extra early to fit in the kilometres and crash through sprints when we’re tired, but without placing the same emphasis on sleep our efforts might lower down and we might feel super weak.
A study showed that athletes who increased their sleep time ran faster sprints while getting their usual amount of sleep.
With our busy life schedule, we need to get up very early in the morning to make our run happen. Neglecting our sleep for too many days, it will lead to a decrease in performance, which will also make running a lot less enjoyable.
BENEFITS OF SLEEP FOR ATHLETES
Sleep is when our body produces growth hormone which stimulates muscle growth and repair.
In sleep deprivation we produce less HGH (human growth hormones) and our muscles recovery and growth.
Sleep is when our body synthesizes protein, creates new cells and repairs tissue, boosts our immune system.
Sleep deprivation combined with workout exertion we’re more likely to get sick and of course all our runs feel unpleasant.
In sleep deprivation, we feel hungrier add that to distance running and it explains the never ending hunger.
In sleep deprivation the body is less effective at converting carbs to glycogen. So our body will be lacking glycogen to support good energy for our runs.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO RUNNERS NEED?
The general rule is to add 1 minute per mile/1.6km we are running per week. This can be stressful for many runners, but it makes sense, running ask more of our body, so we need to give it more to recover.
Example: if we need 8 hours of sleep to feel well rested when we are not training and are now doing 64km/week, we should aim for 8 hours and 40 minutes.
A few different studies have said that endurance athletes need a minimum of 8 hours, but many need more to continue training without fatigue. If we feel like we just cannot find time for that, we will find many high profile athletes who say eating a certain way has decreased their sleep requirements.
Nutrition Recommendations For Less Fatigue
Eating enough protein to fuel muscle recovery.
Removing anti-inflammatory foods which would slow down recovery.
Eliminating food intolerance, which increase inflammation (even healthy foods that our body cannot tolerate).
The best time to figure out the perfect hours of sleep for you is when you’re on holiday. See what time you wake up on your own, without relying on an alarm clock. The amount of sleep your body enjoyed that night should be your goal every night.
If the hour total is very far off from the amount you’re getting when you’re not on Holiday, try increasing your sleep time in small addition. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier for one week, and then add 10 more minutes each week.
Science shows that long-term runners appear to have higher quality sleep.
You Wake Up And Can’t Go Back to Sleep:
1. Blood Sugar Drop
If we’re eating dinner early and then nothing prior to sleep or maybe a carb heavy snack, by 2-3am our blood sugar will drop which spikes cortisol and BOOM awake.
2. Overactive Mind
According to Holistic Health they mention that waking up between 1-3am consistently is a sign of frustration and anger that aren’t being dealt with during the day because this is when our body should be detoxing our live. If there is something or someone toxic in our life, we need to get rid of it. And we should not be eating things that might be burdening our body.
The second issue is usually easy to identify if we are also having issues with mood, fatigue, digestive trouble, and even eye strain.
Focus On Good Sleep Patterns, Feel Better, Stronger And Healthier, And Enjoy Being A Great Strong Runner!