Catching ZZZZZs and Running

Knock on wood, but since the start of Daylight Saving Time, I've had some great sleeps. In preparing for my marathon, I've been more excited about these events than my training runs!

Runners know about the importance of rest and recovery when training. I've often seen the formula, STRESS + REST = GROWTH, in different running articles.

To further add, from my library of running books, here's some quotes on sleep and running that I've been able to find:

From James Fixx, author of The Complete Book of Running

"Fatigue isn’t the result of speed and distance in themselves, but of running at a speed and over a distance than you can comfortably handle. I may tire after a half-mile; you may be able to run twenty easily. If you tire yourself day after day, fatigue accumulates. One of the first signs of the fatigue-on-fatigue effect is an out-of-sorts feeling. For no good reason you’re cranky, ill-tempered and impatient. Routine tasks seem formidably difficult. Among other signs of fatigue are these:
1. Pain in the joints, muscles or tendons, especially if it’s more severe than usual.
2. Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
3. More cold, fever blisters and runny noses than usual.
4. Continual thirst (a result of dehydration).
5. A tired feeling, especially if you still have it after a night’s sleep.

If you have only one of these symptoms, it’s nothing to worry about, but if you have two or more, it’s an almost certain sign you’re overtired. The remedy is to ease up for a while. Skip a day’s running, or cut your mileage in half for two or three days. Above all, don’t do any fast running. Wait for your energy and zest to come back, and only then resume normal running."
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Jim Fixx is writing about a balance between running and psychological / physical indicators of excessive fatigue, with sleep being one of these indicators. When we lose this balance, these indicators come into play and grow from training comes to a standstill. To me, the list of indicators and when to ease up is critical information for the runner.

From George Sheehan, M.D. and author of Personal Best

"If you decide to change your life and go for health and fitness what is the  most important thing to do? Suppose you were given the following list and asked which of these measures you should do first, what choice would you make? (1) Stop smoking; (2) reduce alcohol intake; (3) diet; (4) get enough sleep; (5) learn relaxation techniques; (6) manage stress; (7) exercise; (8) all of the above.

The answer is exercise.

Exercise regulates my life. I travel unscathed through this babble of conflicting opinions by simply letting my body make these decisions for me. I recommend to you: If you can’t stop being a lush or a glutton or a two-pack-a-day smoker, exercise is your dish. Why? The exercising body does not like to smoke. It is moderate in its drinking and has definite ideas on diet. With exercise, you put on the new person. Exercise, and then you can do as you please."
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George Sheehan is describing running (exercise) as being a major regulating force in our lives. Running helps us to better regulate our habits and our bodies. Through running, overdoing unhealthy habits and under doing healthy gets leveled out. For runners, I think it's always good to ask ourselves questions like, will this extra slice of pizza help my running? Or, if I watch this movie, will I get enough sleep for my run tomorrow morning?

Thanks for reading! 

If you're interested in more posts on recovery and running check out "Recovery from Training & Racing" found in the EOOC TABLE OF CONTENTS page located in the sidebar of the homepage.



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