In a recent article by Running Times magazine, Betsy Saina, a former Iowa State Cyclone who now runs for Nike cited sleep as not only the key to her workout recovery, but the primary way that she spends her day.
Sleep as a Primary Running Recovery Method
Saina States in the article that she sleeps for about 10 hours a night. She also mentions that she naps for about 3 hours a day to aid her running recovery.
Betsy Saina is unapologetic about how she spends her downtime: down for the count. The rising star from Kenya sleeps nine or 10 hours a night and schedules three hours of daily naps around the 95 weekly miles she runs in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as an international member of the American Distance Project team.
With over half of the day devoted to sleep and 4-6 hours each day devoted to running and other exercises, it seems that she only eats, runs and sleeps.
Running Recovery Lesson to be Learned
Sleeping 13 hours a day may not be a realistic running recovery method for the average runner, or even the competitive age group runner. However, there is certainly a lesson to be learned. It is no secret that sleep is key to athletic performance. In fact, getting proper sleep helps the body to produce more Human Growth Hormone. In essence making it as beneficial as taking supplemental HGH (also known as doping.) An increased effort to get extra sleep can go a long way for any runner.
Sleep Your Way to Faster Times
Optimizing your running recovery time by adding extra sleep may be exactly what you need to push you to that new PR or goal time. It has certainly worked for Saina
Saina’s recent results have been the stuff of sweet dreams. Last May at the Payton Jordan Invitational, she ran 10,000m in 30:57.30. In August she won the 7-mile Falmouth Road Race in 35:56, and in September she won a road 10K in the Netherlands in 30:46. She followed that with a 1:09:27 half marathon debut in October in Boston. But the most impressive performance of her year came in July in Monaco, where she placed fifth in a famously fast 5,000m, running 14:39.49, which was a 32-second personal record.