Running and Sleeping and Fueling

I’ve gotten a few emails in the last few weeks about readers/runners feeling extra tired after their runs. The timing is funny because I took a short nap after my long run this weekend. I don’t consider myself a “nap person” and Ben and I have had fights about this (like when he wants to take a lazy Saturday nap and I want to do 56 other things).nataliedee nap thumb Running and Sleeping and Fueling(

But, sometimes during training (or after a night in Vegas) I need a nap!monica sleeping thumb Running and Sleeping and Fueling(Side note: That picture is from my Bachelorette party where I was not tired at all but thought this was hilarious. I’m sure you’d find it more funny after a few vodka tonics too.)

Today I read in Self magazine that a full night’s rest is key to recovery after a tough workout. When you’re sleeping your body is repairing and strengthening your muscles (and you might be less sore too).IMG 8244 800x533 thumb Running and Sleeping and Fueling

I say I’m not a napper, but I am religious about getting enough sleep at night. Before “bed time” I count backwards to when I need to wake up to make sure I’ll get at least 7 hours, preferably 8. If you get up at the same time every day for work or school that’s easy to do (my schedule changes daily).

But, another vital part of keeping your energy levels high is the make sure and fuel within 30 minutes of your workout. I know this is not always convenient, doesn’t make sense if you don’t know the science behind it, is counterintuitive if you’re trying to lose weight.

I know.

But do it. Do it.

I swear I can feel the difference when I eat within 30 minutes of a run versus times I don’t. And that is why I eat in my sweaty clothes. Rrrright wlEmoticon winkingsmile26 Running and Sleeping and Fueling

In other news, I was hungry mid-morning at and grapes x8.IMG 8238 800x533 thumb Running and Sleeping and Fueling

Then, I ate green beans, turkey and  a Fiber One bar. I guess it was lunch?IMG 8240 800x533 thumb Running and Sleeping and Fueling

Let’s talk about it…

Do you take naps?

Eat within 30 minutes of working out?

Take embarrassing pictures of yourself and post them on the internet?

Yes, yes and yes.

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  1. says

    I used to abhor naps. In fact… I really on’t like sleeping in general! I mean.. there is SO much more I could be doing, right!? But lately, especially now that I am running much longer distances… my body has been MAKING me nap. Seriously haha. Getting more sleep has truly made me feel SO energized. Now I actually look forward to resting because it gives me so much more physical and MENTAL energy for long runs.

    I always make sure to have some fuel before I run. If it is SUPER early…. I do something light like a banana because I know I will have a full breakfast later. But you’re right, fuel make a HUGE difference in endurance. You don’t want to start your body off using reserves!

    Love the Vegas photo! I have some photos of me in Las Vegas years ago… I had braces and looked ridiculous. They will forever be banned from the internet.

  2. says

    i dont normally nap, but something about Sundays….i HAVE to nap on sunday. i guess my body is so tired from the long week and weekend!

    i try to eat within 30 minutes of working out, usually a protein shake.

    and YES, i love self deprecating humor

  3. says

    Enough sleep is key for my recovery. I always make sure to get at least 7 hours. The times that I’ve had fewer hours have led to exhaustion and really sore muscles.

    I try to refuel within those 30 minutes because if not, I get really bad headaches and feel completely depleted the rest of the day. It’s hard to catch up when you’re so far behind.

  4. says

    I am totally NOT a napper. When I lay down to nap, my mind starts racing over all the things I should be doing instead. Needless to say, that keeps me from sleeping.

    I’m definitely pooped after a long run though. I TOTALLY notice a difference with my hunger/appetite if I eat RIGHT when I’m done running versus after 30 minutes. I used to be relaxed with the “30 minute rule” but now I eat the second I walk in the door or I will be wanting to gnaw off my arm all day.

  5. says

    I’ve been loving naps lately and can’t get enough of them. I blame pregnancy. Before I was pregnant I rarely ever took naps. I’m with you on wanting to do a hundred other things instead of sleep. I usually eat within 30 minutes of working out on most days. I like refueling my body and muscles asap!

  6. says

    I’m not a good napper at all, but I try to get 7-8 hours a night. When I get home from long runs I foam roll, then make a fruit smoothie w/ protein powder to drink in my ice bath so I’m getting fuel right away.

  7. Ella says

    I love napping. I’m not training for races but I’m a senior in college and thats pretty tiring..I have to eat right after I work out or I get light headed. I workout first thing in the morning and I’m STARVING by the time I leave the gym! I don’t understand how people can put it off!

  8. Katheryn says

    I would love to nap, but have two small kids at home – so that’s no going to happen. I have a hard time eating after a workout too, as I’m never hungry right after. We usually have chocolate milk on hand though, so I try to drink a bit of that as soon as I get home.

  9. says

    I’m an olympic napper. I am so good at it. I can do half an hour or three hours or anywhere in between, wherever, whenever. I don’t sleep very well at night (even when I don’t nap — I’ve tried getting on a schedule and it just does not work), so naps are key to my sanity!

  10. Ida says

    I usually need a nap the day of a long run (12 miles or more). I read once that Deena Kastor and Kara Goucher take daily naps so I dont feel too bad about it. i think sleeping a key part of recovery and long runs can demand more rest.

  11. says

    I usually don’t nap, because they never go according to plan. I either ignore the alarm in a sleepy stupor and 30 minute turn into 90, or I spend the whole time thinking about what I should be doing and end up getting up. I need to practice.

  12. says

    I absolutely take embarrassing pictures of myself and put them on the internet. Naps don’t happen quite as often as they probably should– I have to be seriously tired to take one– but they ALWAYS happen after a massive workout.

  13. says

    I LOVE to take naps! I’ve never really paid attention to whether or not a snack is consumed after a workout. It definitely is after a run! Soon, I’ll be joining the you in the posting of embarrassing self pictures on the internet LOL.

  14. says

    naps have been appearing more often lately during the weekends – I’m blaming it on the extreme heat ;). I workout in the AM before breakfast so food is devoured as quickly as it can be put together.

  15. says

    I was just talking about this on another blog. I never nap because my mom would get pissed if we did. SO I always get angry at my husband when he wants to take a nap. It’s a vicious cycle. But I’m way glad to hear I’m not the only wife who gets into arguments over life changing things such as naps… no wait, now that makes me sound kinda lame …

    I would like to post more embarrassing pictures, but my husband starts not liking me if I let too much of my personality out at once. I think he may want me to save it for old age sex.

    And lastly, because I know you care and want to be my cyber bff (we are already, don’t worry) I always eat 30 minutes after working out. Or anything for that matter: waking, peeing, sneezing, breathing …

  16. says

    So I had a random thought pop into my mind today as I was cutting up some watermelon….I HAVEN’T READ YOUR BLOG IN WEEKS!!! What the heck, I thought?!?! Have you not posted? Nope, it was me!! Somehow or another, your blog disappeared from my reader. Don’t worry, crisis averted. Your back in my reader and in my life and I couldn’t be happier. <3 you!

  17. says

    i take naps after work since i get up soooooo early (5:30) i try not to..i try to power through straight to the gym but its tough.

    i def eat after workouts! usually a protein shake!

  18. says

    Great picture from your bachelorette party!

    I can’t nap! Or I guess I can, but I shouldn’t haha, I always wake up in the crabbiest moods :-Z IDK why, I feel more tired after the nap than before and the rest of the day I’m a slug-o! I’ve been trying to get better about eating before and after a workout but sometimes it’s hard [depends on my work schedule and meal time]…

  19. Lorin says

    I wish getting 8 hours of sleep would be that easy, but since my schedule is constantly changing, so are my sleep rhythms. It’s summer, so I’ve been sleeping in till about 10 and going to sleep at about 12:30. MOre than 8 hours, however, tommorow I’m helping my mom (actually this whole week) at her work and have to wake up at 6:45, but it’s 11:15 and probably won’t fall asleep till 12ish. I think it’s hard to fall asleep at a certain time even though I need 8 hours, somtimes it just doesn’t happen because I am used to going to bed late, but wake up early. I was also just thinking about that refueling rule. I was going to ask how you balance not eating all the calories that you just burned from the workout you just did? For example, 3 miles of running is approximately 300 calories, so I guess have a 100 calorie snack?

  20. says

    I’m napping impaired for sure, regardless of how tired I get. I haven’t focused at all about getting fuel into me within 30 minutes post-run unless it’s a long one. Then I’m very diligent.
    As for posting embarrassing pictures, just today I’ll be posting costume option pics for the Gladiator Rock ‘n Run that I’m dressing up for–no makeup or nothin’.

  21. Jill says

    I used to be an unwilling napper i.e. every time I sat down for more than ten minutes, I’d be asleep then wake up grumpy and miserable. THEN….. I stopped eating gluten (long story). Now, as long as I’ve have a reasonable night’s sleep I no longer feel the need to nap.
    After a long run, I will sit and relax with a book, TV etc.
    Post run fuel used to be a little baggie of peanut butter filled pretzels but I have to find something different now. Chocolate milk is good but not so good after sitting in my car for a couple of hours. It’s not quite hot chocolate but….. Beef jerky is good too, but it’s hard to concentrate on driving home while picking at my teeth. And definitely not something that other drivers need to watch. You’ll be glad that I’m not into posting pix.

  22. says

    I can’t take naps, I always feel soooo much worse after them than before. Even though I stick to the 20-30 minutes or less “rule” and everything, I just feel off when I take a nap. But I always try to get my 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I know I feel my best after nine hours.

    I eat within an hour of working out, but not half an hour. I HAVE to shower when I’m done working out. In the same way that I can’t stand being in wet clothes, I also can’t stand sitting around in stinky clothes. I want that clean fresh feeling! The drive home from the gym is about 15 minutes and then about 5 for shower and changing and 10 for making what I’m going to eat. So I might squeak by sometimes with close to half an hour, but not always.

  23. Brittany says

    Thank you for this post and for answering my personal e-mail! :) I don’t usually eat within 30 minutes of working out because I always thought it defeated the purpose but I’m definitely going to start doing that from now on! And as for naps… unfortunately, there just isn’t enough time in the day but I am going to faithfully start aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night!

  24. says

    I wish I could nap more but I’ve never been much of one either. Sometimes the tiredness wins out though and I have no choice, especially if we are relaxing on the couch then the zzzz come on quicker than I can recall :) I do, however, try and eat within 30 minutes of returning from a run, and I’m all about eating in my sweaty clothes :)

  25. says

    if I don’t eat immediately after a long run, I get massively nauseous. I can get away with waiting a little longer after short runs and weight training sessions, but I generally schedule my workout right before dinner so that it’s around a half hour to one hour afterward that I end up eating. I’m a big believer in fueling after a workout!

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