Rest & recovery… it’s part of the plan!

My past few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel, kids stuff (track, soccer, chess), cheering on runners, promoting races, and finally: running races!! The one thing that I looked forward to the most after the Glass City races this year was sleep. Well, I mean, after that well earned mug of Glass City Glory!!

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5 more mugs for our races!  Maybe next year I’ll have to pass on the glass (haha).

 

I had been getting pretty decent sleep on most days, but on race day I was up at 4:30am! Not because I couldn’t sleep, and not because I had to leave early to find parking (bonus for local races!!), but because our Moms Run This Town group set up a tent in Rally Row!!

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Awesomeness under construction!

We met at 5:15am to insure that we got everything set up in time, and we did. We did a pretty kickass job bringing on the cheer if I say so myself!! Rally Row is a strip along mile 26 where tents were set up to help encourage all of the marathons make that last .2 miles to the finish. We saw so many friends crossing that finish line… it was inspirational!

How about your sleep on a daily basis? When I’m training I aim for 7 hours of sleep. That gives me time to wake up early before my family gets up (around 5:20am) but yet still spend time with Alan and the kids, and get a few things done around the house before I go to bed in the evening.

Rest and recovery are two of the easiest things to put into a training plan when you think about it… you don’t have to do anything. Do nothing. And sleep. Who doesn’t like some extra sleep? We are pretty lucky around our house that we don’t get sick often. In fact, it’s been years since I have been sick (I shouldn’t have said that out loud!!). BUT, when I do get sick, it’s because I’m run down. Run down from traveling, hectic schedule, or just running a big event like a marathon! Those things are all draining, and they tax your body.  I need my sleep!!

I’m on a hiatus from running right now. Following my race on Sunday I’m shooting for 2 weeks off from running. My body just needs it. It’s going to be tough, but I’m going to focus on cross training, strength training, and giving my body a rest.
Speaking of rest, did you know the average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Most only get around 5 to 7 hours. Yikes.  I could not function on only 5 hours, so I’m glad I’m getting that 7 hours. Interesting fact – many pro athletes get 10-12 hours of sleep!! I’m sure we can’t all afford the massages and personal trainers they also have, but at least we could all carve out some extra sleep time in our training plans. [I’m talking to you Alan, who is a night owl, and a forced early riser due to the kids schedule!!]  The good news is that you don’t need a lot of money to improve your sleep.  Quality pillows are affordable and an excellent alternative to replacing your mattress.  A comfortable pillow is a MUST for me.  My husband can sleep on a rock and be fine.  Not me, I’m obsessed with having the right pillow.

Studies also show that napping can have a great benefit as part of your sleep routine too.  Fact is, if you’re working out hard, you’re going to be tired.  If you can fit a nap in, it will serve you well!

And… there are lots of highly beneficial activities going on when you are sleeping. Check them out here…

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So far I’ve been a good sleeper, but when my kids were born that was another story. For a while I suffered from waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. I’ll leave you with my tip on productive sleeping: “If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t look at the time on your clock. It will just make you anxious, and even harder to fall back asleep!!”

I know we’ve discussed sleeping a while ago, and I told you about how I stopped sleeping with my body pillow. I’m happy to report that I fall asleep every night without it. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I pull the body pillow back into bed with me. I consider that a happy mix. That way, when I travel, I can sleep fine without it.

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How about you….

Q: Are you a sound sleeper, or do you have problems with waking up/falling back asleep?

Q: How many hours of sleep do you get typically (maybe during the week)?

Q; Side sleeper, back sleeper, or on belly?

Q: Do you arms ever go numb when you sleep???
I was getting freaked out with that issue, and then realized when I sleep on my back I don’t have that problem. No need for for further scary Googling of the cause of the problem!!  My arms were getting trapped.  Phew!

8 Comments

  1. Rich Brown

    Great post, sleep is so important espically durning training. I’ve averaged 8 hours of sleep per night durning the 16 weeks of Spring MIT training. I like that I can look at deep sleep vs light sleep from my garmin watch. Usually see 4 to 4 1/2 hrs of deep sleep.

    BTW – Looks like we are going to be coaching PR 5k together. Very excited to be paired up with such an accomplished runner and Ambassador!

    • I tried to wear my Garmin to bed the first night I got it. I just couldn’t do it! My daughter wears her FitBit and loves to look at the info from that.
      Glad to have you as my partner in the PR5K program!! I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!

    • That’s funny – I can’t stand sleeping in! I feel all lazy if I’m not up by 7:30 at the latest (weekend). Maybe that was different before I had kids… so hard to remember back that far!

  2. Drew Pearce

    I am a terrible insomniac. Or maybe I am a really good insomniac. Not sure how to phrase that but let’s just say I get 5-6 hours a night at best. I have no problem getting to sleep but I wake up after a couple of hours (or less) and then I am wide awake. Very frustrating. My mother, who is 95, says it is a guilty conscience keeping me awake. I can always depend on her for an encouraging word! I am into my third week of not running. Calf strain is still not healed but all the other nicks and dings seem to be better. Hope to start back in another week.

    • ha! Sounds like something my Dad would say. I was wondering, how did Boston go for you? We are all in rest mode/injury repair at our house. The days are long!

      • Drew Pearce

        I was volunteering at the Gatorade station at the Finish so it was a long day. Started at 9:30 and closed it down at 5:30. Wind gusts up to 25mph down to Boylston Street made it a challenge filling all those cups! Got to see most of my friends who were running. They all had slower than usual times due to the heat. If I don’t BQ this year, I will volunteer again next year. Are you going back to Erie for another shot at a BQ?

        • That is a long day. Good for you for helping out! I guess that’s why I help out at shorter races – time commitment!
          I honestly can’t even imagine running more than 14 miles right now!! So no plans right now… waiting to see how I feel in the summer.

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