Sleep!!! One of the most underrated aspects of well being in todays society. To me sleep is the difference between consistent hard training in good condition…. and the dreaded overtraining. I know many people who turn to me and say “I got a great nights sIeep, a full 7 hours” ….7 hours?? You consider 7 hours to be more than normal? The sad thing is that is normal for most people. Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of people can function perfectly on that amount of sleep but I pose you a question: If you train twice a day, work hard at your day job, do you think that anything less than 8 or 9 hours is going to be enough sleep to let your body work hard day in day out, week after week?
Now obviously this is an extreme example. Not everyone is or wants to be a pro / full time / elite athlete, but the point still stands. The more stress you put your body under, the more recovery time you need. If you ever get to that point where it seems a mission to head to training after work, or you find that by the time Tuesday or Wednesday comes your body feels exhausted, take a look at your sleep. It is very possible you aren’t getting enough sleep or enough good quality sleep.
Not enough sleep is one of the biggest causes of overtraining. Personally, I find a big difference in my training, recovery and performance when I get consistent good nights of sleep. I also find that most of my injuries occur when I haven’t been getting enough sleep.
So have a think, regardless of your training load or the stress in your life, does your sleep match the recovery requirements of your body and mind? If you are stressed and training hard, do you make sure you let your body recover? Keep this in mind next time you feel a bit rundown.
Enjoy your training,