Much like the long workout Saturday, I had a hard time with yesterday’s fast finish workout on the treadmill. I needed a couple of breaks to get through all 50 minutes.
This time around, I didn’t eat much of a meal in advance (I had a typical 3 poached eggs earlier in the morning, but nothing else). I also had a bit of a headache that (while getting on the turbo helped get my mind off it) stuck around through the day, and may have been a mild migraine. I think both were contributing factors to the struggle, though the pace and power on the whole workout plus the fast finish was pretty good. Still, I’m struggling to finish these longer workouts as continuous workouts.
Headaches for me are somewhat rare and usually go away after sleep. But I awoke overnight and still had a headache, but fortunately I tracked down some old, not expired Tylenol PM in the house (I hardly ever take NSAIDs) and it managed to quickly eliminate the pain.
This week for me should be lighter on volume, and the high-end extreme heat forecast this week may compel me to turn work break runs into walking depending on how I feel. Last week was a week to push extra training effort, and this week is not.
My long run is 8 miles and I may take that out of town this weekend to a cooler location. I do plan on a hill repeat workout later this week but everything else is a standard 40-45 minute training run.
I’m reading High-Performance Nutrition For Masters Athletes by Lauren Antonucci, and there’s a lot of good info in here. I’ve taken particular note on the section on improving overall sleep, as obviously I’ve been unusually struggling with that lately. It offers a few general tips, some of which I’ve been aware of.
- You want to eat well enough to meet energy availability needs, or you will have trouble falling asleep.
- Melatonin is overrated and can cause energy problems the following day, BUT can be useful with exercise for handling jet-lag after traveling. You need to make sure to exercise during late morning and/or early afternoon, then take 3g half an hour before going to bed.
- Obviously, foods with tryptophan can help you sleep. The big surprise is what foods aside from turkey are rich therein: Milk, oats, bananas, tuna, pumpkin seeds.
- Eating high glycemic carbs in your last meal of the day also helps sleep: White rice, potatoes, pasta, your typical runner staples.
- A high-fat diet can actually hinder sleep.
- Liquid meals like protein shakes can hinder sleep duration.
- Tart cherry juice taken 1-2 hours before bed can help sleep, but because of its strong antioxidant properties can also hinder training adaptions if taken closely following training (though much like ice baths this can be conversely useful during and after competition, such as when you run a heat and have to run a final the next day).
- L-Theanine of course helps with sleep by relaxing you, and Antonucci heavily recommends ingesting this as non-caff tea. (I would also recommend waiting until well after a meal to have this, since it can interfere with protein absorption)
- Valerian Root can also help with sleep, though like melatonin it can cause drowsiness and dizziness, so it’s best taken before bed.
I’ll sit on this for a while before adding any thoughts. Until then….