Saturday, March 2, 2013

Correlating my sleep time and run fatigue

Frozen Fitbit
Today's run (street): 4.8 miles

Yesterday afternoon I checked my activity progress on the Fitbit only to discover that the readings hadn't changed since morning. The numbers displayed at 5:00 PM were almost the same as they were at 9:30 AM. I took some steps to see if they would record but the numbers didn't change. I connected the Fitbit to my laptop using the USB charging cable and that seemed to jolt it back to life.

I was happy that the device was working again, but disappointed that I wouldn't get "credit" for the steps, miles and flights of stairs that didn't get captured yesterday. I'll watch the display a little more closely, now that I've had that experience. It was working fine this morning and I took it along during my run.

I again recorded my sleep pattern overnight and saw that I'd slept a total of six hours. The good news was that I "only" woke up six times instead of twelve. The Fitbit site assigned me a sleep efficiency rating of 96%, far better than the first time I tracked my sleep cycle.

Perhaps it was a lack of sleep time that factored into the fatigue I felt during today's run. I'd averaged 40 more minutes of actual sleeping time prior to last night. After yesterday's rest day, I expected to feel slightly more energized than normal, but a few minutes into the run I knew something was missing. I set the best pace that I could, determined to cover my distance target of 4 miles.

When I run, I often think about racing and how I'd feel if I was in a race in that moment. I'll often tell myself that I could manage more speed, if needed. Depending on the distance, I can usually muster enough energy to pick up my speed and sustain a better pace. Today I hoped I had enough in the tank to get me through the route I'd planned.

I was determined to get in a full workout and, after making a few loops through my immediate neighborhood, I crossed into neighborhood #2. I had this dual sensation of feeling tired yet ready to cover my distance. There were a few points where I could have cut the run short, but I didn't. In fact I ended up running almost a mile longer than I expected. I was plenty tired by the time I got home and a little puzzled that my heart rate didn't reflect the perceived effort I was experiencing.

Tomorrow I may keep it short, as I'm close to reaching my weekly mileage goal. If my energy returns I may even do some speed work. I'll try to extend my sleep time 40 more minutes and get back to average. I think that contributed greatly to my tiring experience this morning.

2 comments:

  1. All this technology only makes you obsess about stats too much -- running should be done just for fun....

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    Replies
    1. I respect that view, but I think everyone derives their motivation differently. I love data and find that the technology enhances my overall experience. Whenever I run without a tracking device I appreciate the lack of "accountability." But overall, I still prefer to document the experience.

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