I’m now officially over the hump. It feels good to say that now, since we just closed out week 10 of Higdon’s Advanced – I marathon training program. Last week I was just shy of 48 miles for the week and closed out over 1,100 miles for the year. And we still have another good 7 or so weeks of training before I put it all out there and pursue that 3:35 at the Chicago Marathon. Terrifying to articulate, and especially in as transparent a venue as this blog, but hey… it’s part of the goal-pursuit process, no?
Along those lines, I’m finding that I’m sleeping a lot these days – at least 9 hours a night. When it doesn’t happen, usually on Friday nights because I choose to wake up so early on Saturday to avoid the August heat and humidity, I’ll get up to run, then have breakfast afterward and shower, and go back to sleep for a couple hours. Same thing for Sunday, more or less.
I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to sleep this much, and as well as I am, because the literature out there suggests that there’s a good connection between sleeping, training, and weight management. This Running Times article from a couple years ago talks in pretty good detail about what happens to our bodies during our sleep and underscores how important it is to get in a good night of interrupted sleep—and especially so for marathoners (and runners of all distances, really). Likewise, this Runners’ World UK write-in question talks about the possible ways that running can affect our sleep patterns, and this concise about.com article quickly makes the connection between running and weight management.
When I started marathoning in 2007, I effortlessly got up to run my long runs on Saturday, and then proceeded to go about the rest of my day without a nap. How I managed to do that befuddles me. Elite runners often work a daily couple-hour-long nap into their days as part of their training regimes. While I don’t have that luxury, I don’t mind taking the time to nap on the weekend, especially when I’ve spent a couple hours churning out the miles.
I know some people can operate on fewer hours of sleep and still run as well and as often as they’d like… but at this point, I’ve learned that I’m just not one of those people 🙂