If you could do just one thing to increase your mental power, speed, build muscle, and lose fat – would you do it? Yes? All you have to do is sleep. Sleep leads to performance.
Runners are always looking for the next best shoe, apparel, supplement, training plan to improve their performance. We spend millions of dollars trying techniques or products that will keep us injury free and achieving that elusive PR. I have found the “magic” pill, it will not cost you a thing! sleep. Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects of training by runners, even though it is the most important aspect in preventing injury, enhancing your recovery, building strength, and improving speed.
Elite runners all know the value of sleep. Rare is the pro athlete who doesn’t nap and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Paula Radcliffe, women’s marathon world record holder, sleeps around nine hours each night and takes 1-2 hour naps in the afternoon. Why all the extra sleep? So she can rebuild stressed and damaged muscles faster. During the deepest stage of sleep the body releases human growth hormone for repairs. During this time the muscles are paralyzed allowing maximum healing. So by sleeping twice a day, she gets a double hit of the growth hormone to accelerate her recovery.