How to Sleep Better: Super Simple Sleep Hacks for Improved Running Performance

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Sleep can be so elusive! Avid runner and veritable well of running knowledge, @trackclubbabe, shows us how to get the zzzs that score the PRs. 

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to announce our weekly Tuesday Tips with @TrackClubBabe series. Every Tuesday, we’ll be sharing tips from the amazing Kimberly Clark Underwood. She began her running journey in 2012 and has since become a powerful force of positivity, training know-how and perseverance. She’s an awesome follow on Instagram.

The Sleep Struggle

Leading up to Boston Marathon in 2015, I was barely sleeping and running 80 miles a week. Try to guess how that ended. HAHA. The lack of recovery and sleep meant that with each of those 80 miles a week, I slowly built my overtraining grave. Brutal.

I listened to a podcast with @tinamuir88 with sleep expert Dr. James Maas and I completely did a 180 on the importance of sleep. It’s one of THE MOST important components of training. So if you’re not prioritizing sleep, you’re missing out on a huge way to really improve and reap all the gains you’re working SO hard for.

Start with Some Sleep Inspiration

Here are two sleep podcasts to listen to that will inspire you to make sleep a priority:

@richroll podcast w/ @ariannahuffington
@tinamuir88 Run to the Top w/ Dr. James Maas

My Best Sleep Recommendations to Help You Get Those Zzzzzs

Woman-Sleeping

1. Get to Bed Earlier

Start getting to bed earlier. I try to head to bed around 8 pm in hopes that I’m asleep by 9 pm. They say every hour before midnight is worth two after.

2. Try Blue Light Blocker Glasses

I just got a pair and I use them once the sun goes down (so like 5:30) and wear them until I go to bed. It helps to not throw off your circadian rhythm. Blue light (like the light emanating from your smart phone) is killing our sleep – so this helps to counteract it.

3. Have You Tried Magnesium?

This helps to relax you and sleep deeper. I always seem to dream on magnesium.

4. Remember: Endurance Athletes Need More Sleep

The normal adult needs 8 hours of sleep- but the endurance athlete needs more. We need the recovery time, and I promise, if you start getting that extra sleep, you’ll feel more recovered between hard sessions.

Try making sleep a priority for a week and  see how your recovery and how you feel improves.

PS I want to hear your take on sleep now – whether you get enough or are barely getting by! Comment below to share your sleep struggles (we’ve all been there!).

trackclubbabeAuthor Bio: @trackclubbabe, AKA Kimberly Clark Underwood, started running in 2012 to see if she could train for a marathon & fell in love with running. She went from hoping to run 10 minute miles in the marathon to aiming for a sub 3 marathon. She posts the highs & lows of training + everything that has helped her to improve on her IG. 

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