Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sleeping Your Way to Success

Ask any professional athlete and they’ll likely tell you sleep and recovery are the most important parts of their training. But there’s obviously more to it, or we’d all be London-bound in 2012. So let’s assume that in between all those naps, there are some pretty intense workouts too. But considering their level of intensity and experience, how does this “sleep your way to becoming a better athlete” routine apply to an average newbie like me?

Definition of Like Me:

  • Been training at a novice/pre-intermediate level on and off for 4 years
  • Shows modest improvement over a year’s time
  • Easily 10 pounds overweight
  • Nutrition needs work / Sleep habits terrible

The good news for me is I have loads of room for improvement! And it seems sleep is the easiest area for me to address, except I’m both a night owl AND an early bird! For the past year or so, I average between 4 – 5 hours of sleep a night. But If I listen to athletes like Jarrod Shoemaker and Robbie Ventura, this is exactly why I haven’t gone pro yet!

So after some constant ribbing about my 2am Facebook postings, I decided I want to sleep my way to success! Oh – I couldn’t resist!

Sunday evening: Head on pillow 11:30 pm / Wake up at 6:30 am
  • Monday Morning: SLEEP HANGOVER It was a recovery day, so didn’t do a real workout. I basically showered and started working. Felt sluggish the entire day.

Monday evening: Head on pillow 11:30 pm / Wake up at 6:30 am

  • Tuesday Morning: Figured out that I can’t sleep that much and then just go straight to the desk to start working. Mowed the lawn before showering and starting work. Felt so much better – and was more rested for our 6:30 pm track practice

Tuesday evening: Head on pillow 12:10 pm / Wake up at 4:30 am

  • Wednesday Morning: I fell off the wagon! Why on earth did I think it was a good idea to go to VQ training after a hill repeat workout the night before??? Oh right – I had no choice. I really felt tired and sore. But I think it had more to do with the training than the sleep factor.

So how is it working so far? Well, I didn’t get any rounds of applause at my cycling class this morning. But I also only got 4 hours of sleep last night. So I have to demonstrate better discipline. But I have no fear! My Facebook horoscope gives me hope! (And no – I didn’t find it at 2 AM!)

Today's Taurus Horoscope: You will have a lot of interesting insights and impressions today, and if you take the time to listen carefully to what your body is telling you, you may find a practical and affordable solution to a lifestyle, dietary or healthcare problem.

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