Even if you don’t exercise at all, your body still needs sleep. If you are training for a race and are running/biking/swimming in addition to your normal routine, your body needs MORE sleep. Sleep helps strengthen the immune system, helps the nervous system work properly, and keeps the mind sharp. Too little sleep can leave you drowsy, unable to concentrate, and impairs both memory and physical performance. Sufficient sleep will aid in your body’s ability to properly recover from workouts.
Research shows that 7-8 hours a night is required by active adults…but more than that can help (if you have a baby at home, I hope that you have an awesome wife like I do that allows me to get 6-7 hours most nights).
Athletes who obtain sufficient sleep are more likely to improve their performance, according to research. I follow several professional triathletes through Twitter and their blogs, and most get to take a 1-2 hour nap each day in addition to their 8 hours of sleep at night…must be nice.
One study focused on athletes who maintained their typical sleep-wake patterns for a two-week baseline followed by an extended sleep period in which they obtained extra sleep. The study showed significant improvements in athletic performance, including faster running times an increased endurance in those who obtained extra sleep. Athletes also reported increased energy and improved mood during workouts and races, as well as a decreased level of fatigue. These are all good things! Get your 7-8 hours every night!!
Ran a route from the gym this morning that included a little bit of my normal “mall” route as well as some additional roads that totaled 5.35 miles (according to RunKeeper). Route was pretty flat, so I was able to run at a pretty good pace. Time was 41:38 (7:46 min/mile pace).