How well we sleep, transcends in our performance. Sleep is one of the most important, and often neglected aspects of the path to peak performance. Great athletes know about the importance of sleep to achieve performance. Eliud Kipchoge, undoubtedly the greatest marathoners of all the time, sleeps for ten hours everyday. His training schedule includes eight hours of sleep at night, and a two hour nap during the day.
Running entails both aerobic (endurance-based) and resistance (strength-based) activity which represents two extremes of the exercise continuum. For our body to continue to work efficiently on this continuum, we need to constantly work on our muscles to maintain optimal elasticity. To maintain the elasticity, “recovery” is the key to get back to the original form for the next training session.
In our previous article on Optimizing training with RPE scale, it has been discussed at length on how to train with enough stimulus, while not overtraining. One of the important parts to avoid overtraining is getting better at recovery. If you want to recover fully and keep the training structured over months, a short cool-down run, or a 5-minute post run stretching session needs to be rethought. Recovery is a science by itself and there is a lot of art involved too. The question to ask is…
Training intensity and load is an important aspect of how we get the necessary stimulus required to perform better. Structured training involves increasing the training load on a periodic basis (called Periodization).
Some running trivia here - “The 36th kilometer at TMM 2020 was the slowest”. This is based on the Strava data of the top 800 finishers of TMM 2020, the average split time for 36th kilometer is upwards of 7minutes, this is 2 minutes slower than the fastest average split. The 36th km passes through Peddar Road and has an elevation of 25m. It is obvious, most runners struggle through uphills. Uphills expose the weak links in our running.