Boston Marathon Training Monday #21: How Sleep Changes My Performance + Fave Gear Right Now

Life / Monday, March 12th, 2018
after the most recent storm 

Hi Friends:)

I don’t know how many of you live in the northeast, but here in Boston we’re deep into the second coming of winter and are due for our third nor’easter in three weeks tomorrow. These storms have hit New England really, really hard during a time when we’d all been hoping spring would be emerging. Hopefully all my readers out there have stayed safe!

I’ve been really lucky that my apartment and my parent’s homes have not been seriously impacted by these storms, but the noisy winds and the anxiousness that comes along with uncertainty took a serious toll on my sleep schedule this week.

Mile 7 of 20, in the Newton Hills

Sleep has always been a challenge for me. No matter how many miles I run, I have trouble falling asleep and go through phases where I toss and turn for several nights in a row, netting only an hour or two of sleep in all. I fell into one of these phases last week and have been really, really struggling to dig my way out. I’ve got a lavender oil diffuser and a white noise machine and chamomile tea and melatonin and I’m reducing screen time, but so far I’m still struggling. I actually had to pick up some z-quil (which I hate taking) just to get a full night of rest before my long run this week. 

When I don’t get enough sleep, I find myself with less enthusiasm in general, and less physical power for training. My runs were definitely slower this week, but I pushed through as much training as I safely could and ended up with a pretty solid week of workouts all in all.

  • Monday: 3 mile easy run
  • Tuesday: 5.43 miles w/ hill repeats (1.25 mile warm-up, 3 miles hill repeats, cool down)
  • Wednesday: 40 Minute Swim
  • Thursday: SHOVELING+ 3.5 mile run (in snow, wearing yak trax)
  • Friday: Rest/recreational swim w/ my Little Sister (from big brothers/big sisters!)
  • Saturday: 20 mile long run
  • Sunday: 30 minutes spinning
    • Total Weekly Mileage: 31.93

Despite a serious sleep deficit, I did an alright job of training this week! Next week is a 10.5-mile long run, so I’m hoping to get a decent distance mid-week run on the books… once our next snow storm finishes up, that is:/

I also wanted to share my favorite pieces of gear right now. See, without the power-up of good sleep, I’ve needed to feel extra prepared as far as gear goes. Thankfully, by this point in my training cycle I know myself and my needs pretty well.

So here are my favorite things…

  1. My New Running Belt: I started hating my arm bands lately (they always slide around and it’s hard to get my phone in and out of them for pictures!) so I ordered this affordable running belt. I’d heard amazing things about the FlipBelt, but I wasn’t too thrilled to spend $30+ on something I might not like. This belt is a cute color and holds my fuel and phone when I don’t have other pocket options. It does slide around a bit but it’s not too bad, and it’s worth it for the easy camera and fuel access. 
  2. My Fave Insoles: I started breaking in a new pair of sneakers last month, and immediately my hips started killing me. In an act of soreness-induced desperation, I ordered a second set of the insoles I’d been using all fall. Guys, these $14 insoles made my 20-miler almost pain free. They’re unbelievable. No runners knee, no shin splints, and my hip pain was so improved. I am going to use these forever, I swear. 
  3. Athleta Polartec Leggings: I impulse bought these pricy insulated tights after a freezing cold 12-miler back in December.  I had a few pairs of warm tights already, but they were well-loved and losing their insulation after hundreds of runs and washes. I’ve found it hard to find brushed leggings that a) have a drawstring waist so I won’t have to haul them up repeatedly and b) don’t sag around my butt and make me look like a weirdo. These meet both of those criteria and more. Now that “Second Winter” has come, I am so glad that I have a high-quality pair of warm tights to snuggle into for chilly runs. They wash up great and I feel like I’m going to get years and years of wear out of them.

  4. Yak Trax: Similarly, I impulse bought these two years ago after slipping on ice training for my first marathon. (are you sensing a trend? My purchases are very reactionary…) I haven’t been in too many situations where I need to use them,  but I pulled them out this week after our most recent ‘Nor Easter, and boy are they effective. I had to trudge through slush and snow and all kinds of combinations of the two on my Thursday run, and these held on like troopers!

Thats all for now, folks!

Now You Tell Me…

  • How was your week in workouts?
  • Did you get hit with snow this week?
  • Other gear suggestions?


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