Elite athletes often sleep in the afternoon to improve their recovery. I know most people don’t have time for this – I don’t! The majority of us have to survive on five to seven hours which is markedly less than the body needs to keep fit and strong. The key phase in sleeping is actually the third phase when many of the body’s recovery processes take place. So, if you never reach this phase then fatigue is the obvious result.
As a runner it is important to know what you’re meant to be eating. Most runners don’t fuel their bodies correctly for running, in terms of quality and frequency. Runners need to eat regularly throughout the day, snacking mainly on complex carbs. You may choose to live like a bird on nuts and seeds, and yes, these contain nutrients, fats and proteins, but that won’t sufficiently fuel you for your next run. If you want sufficient energy time your food in-take and content accordingly. Eat carbs two hours before running and consume carbs or protein after you run. If you run before breakfast – crazy! – Then ensure you eat quickly afterwards. This will fuel your training and maximise energy but will also assist in weight management and weight loss (if you require it). A bit of spinach or the occasional steak is a good way of boosting your protein intake, so do enjoy a hearty meal if you’re planning a run tonight.