Saturday, February 6, 2010

Trying to be more like Deena Kastor

Deena Kastor is to be admired for a number of reasons: she holds the American record for both the half marathon and the full marathon, she has an Olympic Medal, she has won in Chicago and London, and the list goes on and on. But there are other reasons too.
For the amount of work she puts in, running 100+ miles a week, time in the gym and the pool, and equal amount of time goes into recovery.
In a Runner's World interview when she was getting ready for the 2008 Olympic Trials, she made the following comment,
Sleep is huge for me: I take a one- to two-hour nap daily and get eight to 10 hours nightly. When I'm awake and training, I expect so much from my body, so I really need to let it rest as deeply as it works.
Now, this is her career, so of course she is going to spend virtually all of her time focusing on it. And the rest of us just don't have the time to sleep that much, we can try try to be a little more like Deena. She is my running role model, so I'll do what I can to follow what she does as much as possible.
I have realized more and more that I run better and recovery faster when I get a good night's sleep. The night before my 20 miler, I only got about 5.5 hours of sleep. The night after, I got 9.5. Then, I ran an eight mile recovery run, and by mile 1, the soreness and stiffness was gone! I do think a big part of my success was the sleep.
Yesterday was a snow day (as we were in the middle of Snowmaggedon, as Obama has called it), which I really needed. I still did a lot of work and reading, but it was great to just do it from home and without interruption. Today I lifted weights, again after a full night's sleep, and it felt fine. I have another goal: to do 200 pounds on the leg press by the end of the year. I am currently at 165, so if I had 5 pounds every 6 weeks, I should make it.
Anyways, I took a nap after that (it is the weekend after all, gotta put down the books for a bit), and awoke feeling fresh. I've got a 9 mile run tomorrow, and am starting to look forward to my 10k race next Saturday. Weather is supposed to be good (mid thirties), and I'm very excited. Looking forward to the super bowl tomorrow (although really just excited about watching the game at a friend's house and the food - but I will say Go Saints!). Here's to a good game, and good commercials too.

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