Tuesday, March 27, 2007

life dragging down your performance?

Where have I been? The days flying by like miles with a tailwind. I am now watching an epic spring storm pile up snow on my silky green grass.

Could not have picked a better time to head South. This weekend is the 1st NORBA national in AZ and I have mixed feelings. After the USADA debacle I was left with a sour taste in my mouth for USA CYCLING/UCI/USADA sanctioned racing and was not sure if I was going to be able to stomach paying a $150 clams for the license to participate. But, I have decided not to let there short comings robe me of the opportunity to raise my game and test myself against the best of the best. NORBA may not be perfect but in the USA they are the only game in town for high level XC racing. My decision was also strongly influenced by the fact that Rosie really wants to vacation on AZ.

Anyway, over the last couple weeks I have been asked a number of questions about juggling training, work, family, etc and have had a chance to think about the key elements to reaching ones potential. So I figured over the next some odd posts I would chime in with a few things I have learned over the years of racing with way to much on my plate.

1. Sleep. Absolutely the single most important thing you can do to improve performance. I am not talking about going to bed early the day before a big event, I am talking about night in and night out sleeping habits. Anyone can get away with staying up late before a race and a full time pro who can nap during the day and sleep in can get away with staying up late all the time but for a 40hr type worker consistently staying up late will always catch up to you. Sleep is tied to everything you do. For example, when we don't get enough sleep and are fatigued, we often blame it on lack of food (energy) and remedy the situation with added calories that are not needed. I could go on and on but won't.
I try to sleep from 9pm to 6am but when needed I have been known to hit the sheets earlier, ask Sly or Linde they have both been known to call while I snooze.

more to come, this series will mostly be made up of stuff we already know but don't always apply. It's as much a reminder for me as for you.


Blogger Unknown said...

Man, did not expect sleep to be on the top of anyones list. But it's true. I work in a sleep lab and monitor for various sleeping disorders and can say that fragmented sleep is at the heart of many unhealthy lives and lifestyles. I work weekends and will pull a 12hr shift on Saturday night and then go hit a 30 mile XC race and get totally blown out of the pack. Get me mid-week after some sleep and I'll stay with the top 10. Kudos to you on providing some legit advice!

3:12 PM

Blogger Jared said...

I'm listening and can't wait for performance tips from Bart. . . . oh, it's 7:45 pm, better hit the sack.

7:44 PM


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