There’s nothing like a nice lie-in on a Sunday morning before getting up and heading out for a nice run. Sadly, today was nothing like that!
I was awake around 4am and so got up, messed around on Facebook until the light of day appeared then I thought I’d get my run in early. Actually the temptation was to go back to bed but I knew if I did that, I wouldn’t get a run in at all. Had the now obligatory espresso with coconut oil stirred in, got the shoes on and off I went with the intention of doing 6-8 miles. I decided to the Scone loop, heading out by Scone Palace first then up the hill and onto Stormont Road then back in. I’ve run that route thousands of times (feels like it anyway!) and I always follow the Scone Palace bit first as I prefer the downhill stretch followed by the sharp uphill bit into Scone rather than the long slow climb doing it the other way.
Sadly, at the time of writing, I can’t find anything more scientific than “a lot” when doing a quick search on how much lack of sleep can affect running performance. Put it this way, the effects of the coffee wore off fairly quickly and I felt fairly sluggish although there were a couple of miles along the route where I was running sub 7 min miles but I put this down to the particular stretch being downhill and a great track playing on my ipod. My time of 57 mins for 8 miles was around a minute out from where I would normally be but I would say that I would struggle to run another 5 miles, which I’ll need to do next Sunday at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Edinburgh.
If you want to perform at your very best then you need to make sure you are getting enough rest, not only for the effects on the performance but also as it can stop you losing weight (if that’s one of your goals) due to increased cortisol levels.
My training for this coming week? I’m going to try and get 2 or 3 short runs of 5 miles or less between now and Saturday but most importantly, I’m going to make sure I get a good night’s sleep every night and so I feel fully charged and ready to go on Sunday.
Happy Running folks!