Can you complete/compete at the 140.6 distance w/ only 10 hrs of training per week?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sleep and Training

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? My hope is that each of you reading this got about 8 hours. In fact, I hope you slobbered all over the pillow and can't even remember falling asleep.

For the Leo Camp we have gone for about 15 months with about 10 nights of uninterrupted sleep. This has been quite the test for Anne and I as Grace and Luke have done an outstanding job at making their presence known at various times of the night/morning.

I also hope that most of you reading this blog are fully aware of how important sleep is to your overall health, training, and recovery. Recently, I found a great study that hammers this home. Its a quick read:

In short, if you are opting to get less sleep each night you are literally shooting yourself in the foot. Notice how I used the word 'opting' above? For those who can sleep for 8 hours a night need to turn the TV off and get their fanny in bed. I totally get it that some are wired for a later bed time, but I do believe one can train themselves to 'turn off' earlier. Lifestyle modifications are required.

For Anne and I we have found that the TV is THE culprit for robbing time from 'Zville'. This is coming from a household that has 15 channels and not 400 to choose from. The best move we made was to cut cable all together. I would surf the tube like I was cutting waves in Hawaii for hours.

Back to point. Sleep is like medicine. Make it a priority to sleep so you can promote recovery from hard training sessions, enhance your bodies ability to use glucose/glycogen, maintain appropriate body weight, and perform at your ability consistently.

As a side note I have to share my training experience this morning. As I eluded to above, last night was the first full night of sleep in about 2 or so months. I went out for a run thinking that I would feel sharp as a tack, but was shocked to find a 45 pound backpack affixed to my back. The legs felt as if I was taking on the last 3 miles of the marathon leg at an Ironman.

The science guy that I am is now wondering how many nights of uninterrupted sleep one needs to recover from sleep deprivation. Do cortisol levels dimish by 45% after just 3 nights of 8 hours of sleep? Does your bodies ability to metabolize glycogen increase by 20% per this same time frame noted? Can one lose those nagging 5 to 10 pounds by simply getting a full month of quality sleep? Lots of questions here friends.

In trying to answer these questions I found an article that made me laugh. Why? Check this out:

The good news is that, like all debt, with some work, sleep debt can be repaid—though it won't happen in one extended snooze marathon. Tacking on an extra hour or two of sleep a night is the way to catch up. For the chronically sleep deprived, take it easy for a few months to get back into a natural sleep pattern, says Lawrence J. Epstein, medical director of the Harvard-affiliated Sleep HealthCenters.

Go to bed when you are tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clock allowed). You may find yourself catatonic in the beginning of the recovery cycle: Expect to bank upward of ten hours shut-eye per night. As the days pass, however, the amount of time sleeping will gradually decrease.

No alarm clock? Are you kidding me? Take it easy for a few months? Clearly, this fella is not working around the reality that Anne and I are.

Have a great day friends and sleep 8 hrs tonight!
Coach L

P.S. Thank you Elizabeth H for praying for Team Leo. Your prayers were answered :) Please pray again for us tonight that L and G will count MANY sheep.

1 comment:

  1. I like the questions! Great work Lance. I'm motivated now to go to sleep.....

    David Engler