Sleep…..such an under-utilized part of the triathlete’s bag of tricks. When it comes to performance enhancement supplements or expensive gadgets, we triathletes are all over it like ants on honey. We spend more money than the Pentagon wastes on on stuff we think will help us be just one minute faster, when probably the best thing we could ever do to help us get faster is just consistent good sleep.
Case in point…..Me.
Once we returned from Ironman France, I spent the next 6 weeks training, racing, coaching, and averaging six hours of sleep a night. I should know better.
So what happens from this accumulated fatigue? Well, you drive 700 miles to compete at USAT National Age Group Championships, only to have one of the most pathetic races of your career. The only thing that saved me WAS my good training, and the thought that ‘it’s not that long of a race, suck it up buttercup!’
I hit the rock bottom of my energy reserves at a time that I needed to race my best. I had no gas to give on race day, and all I could do was go through the motions. On the 700 mile drive home all I knew is that I had to make some changes, and the first priority would be to make sure I got at least 8 hours of Vitamin ‘S’ each night.
Sleep is free. Sleep is awesome…..so start taking your 8 hours of Vitamin ‘S’!