You can train hard, eat well, follow a plan religiously but when it comes to performing on race day, having enough sleep is a vital factor. Skip the shut-eye and you can end up feeling knackered before the running has even started.
And it’s not easy to get right. If you’ve ever had an attack of the nerves an evening before a big race than you’ll know what I mean. Unlike nutrition and training, trying to get to sleep can be difficult.
Now I’m not going to reel out a load of research about sleep right now but I, for one, know that I sleep best when I’m clear-headed, exhausted physically and relaxed in my mind and body.
Anything I can do to ensure I’m in these conditions, such as run off all my energy, participated in yoga, in the right temperature room (not too hot or too cold) and perhaps listening to my favourite radio dramas in bed, I will do to actively encourage a sleepy state of mind. I also set myself an alarm clock for getting up in the morning and going to bed. No matter how tempting it is to stay up and watch Brits Abroad in Malaga, when the time comes, I’m bed-ward bound As it’s the week before my first marathon of 2014, I’m going to try and ensure I follow a strict routine. The bed, mattress and pillow helps too. We invested in a new bed a year ago and this worked wonders.
It may not be easy, seeing as the clocks went forward and this will upset my body clock but I’m hoping this will at least give me an advantage when I’m at the starting line in Paris next week.
Talking of “spring forward: fall back” (this is how I remember which way the clock goes), we went to Greenwich yesterday and almost stood on the Meridian line.
I was also sent this infographic from Tempur mattresses, which I thought I’d share. It has some interesting facts for history buffs (pub quiz anyone?) and tips on how to adjust your body clock.
What helps you sleep better? And please don’t say the obvious.