Posted by: runawaynotes | August 8, 2012

No running vs. no sleep

I’ve read somewhere that the hardest step you take in running is the one that gets you out the door. In my case, the hardest part is not even a step – it’s that half-dragging/half-crawling motion that gets me from under the covers and out of bed. Once I lose the warmth and comfort of my blanket, I accept my fate and drag my butt out the door with relative ease. However, lately it’s been increasingly difficult for me to drag myself out of bed. Busy season at work is in full swing, which means that I am leaving the office on average sometime after 9:30 pm. By the time I make it home, it’s already 10 pm. Then it takes me a couple of hours to unwind and get my brain to stop racing. Plus, there are those pesky chores, like feeding my birds, doing the dishes, laundry, paying bills, etc. So, the end result is that I’ve been getting between 6 and 4 hours of sleep every night for the past couple of weeks.

Now, this might be plenty of sleep for some people, but I normally require between 8 and 10 hours a day to function at my best. As a result, when my alarm goes off at 6 am every morning, I’ve been waging this internal battle – do I drag myself out of bed and go for a run, or do I get an extra hour of sleep. On one hand, I really want to stay on track with my marathon schedule. On the other hand, there are days when I’m feeling so exhausted that I’m almost lethargic. This can’t be good (neither for my work, nor for my health, which would include my running ability). At the same time, I really don’t want to deviate too much from my training program. I still feel the after effects of taking a 2 months long forced break from running, and I’ve been working really hard to get myself back to the level I was at  before my injury.

The worst part is that I will be dealing with the same issue again in November. Only the situation will be a lot worse, both in terms of work load, and in terms of my mileage (I’ll be doing my super long runs during those weeks – 18 and 22 miles). Then, missing training really won’t be an option. So, what should I do? Keep running and then try to make up for lost sleep on Sundays? (that is, unless I’m working on Sundays 😦 ) Skip the short recovery runs and get an extra couple of hours of rest? Win the lottery and quit my job? Or just suck it up and deal with it for a couple of weeks and try to rest after the work craziness goes away? 

And now, please excuse me, while I go and make my third cup of coffee…



  1. That’s a really tough one. Not getting enough sleep was my problem a few weeks ago, too, and it had a huge effect on my running. I would say skip the short recovery runs if you must. The long run is your most important run when training for a marathon. You can get by on three runs a week, as long as you don’t skip the long run. Hope things improve at work!

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