Sustaining your running, sustaining your energy

During December I was formulating a plan in my mind for the coming year. I usually plan my work year sometime in September since all my projects seem to follow a scholastic schedule. This year things changed in the Fall and suddenly my 2013 forecast included a heavier workload. I had to make some decisions on how to make it all happen.

The first question was, “How are you going to find the time to do everything?”. I knew the answer was scheduling myself better and actually sticking to the schedule. It will also include truly concentrating on what needs to be done and learning to delegate as needed.

The second thought was, “Where are you going to get the energy to do this?”. I work full time, I have a child in elementary school, I often solo parent because my husband travels for work, I have no relatives in the vicinity to help me out and, oh, I love training for marathons and triathlons. Sometimes it feels like 24 hours are not enough.

What’s always stopped me from doing anything in the past was the amount of energy I had. I had to come up with a plan to harness more of it and three things came to mind:

Sleep

 Nutrition

Cold Thermogenesis

All three of these came into play during the Christmas holidays. I’ve had boundless energy over the past ten days. I’ve always noticed that rest and sleep are an important component to my energy levels, but I’ve never followed through long enough to make it count.

So I’ve started 2013 with tracking my sleep patterns again and making sure I get enough rest. I know it’s going to have profound positive effects on my running and training.

For the nutrition I’m continuing with the HAM Plan of three meals a day but I’m manipulating the content of those meals. When I get back into longer bike rides I’ll also need to play around with what I’m fuelling with… stay tuned for more on this!

Now the crazy part…

outdoor temperature: 10°c – 50°f

Last year I jumped in the sea on the 1st of January. It was an exhilarating experience so I decided it was worth repeating. This year I wanted to be a little more prepared so in the days leading up to it I started taking cold morning showers. They were pure torture and I had to start with water on my arms, then my legs, until I was able to get my whole body wet in the last few seconds. But then something great happened: in the hours after the shower my skin felt tingly and I felt like I had more energy.

It felt so great I dove into the water a second time…

When it finally came time to do my swim it was totally without any hesitation. I felt fantastic for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Since then I’ve been reading anything I can on Cold Thermogenesis and the wheels are turning in my brain…

Again, I’m looking at it as a way to train better and have more energy. If anything comes out of it I’ll report back. Here’s to a happy, energetic, productive New Year!

My happy smile
  1. Valerie
    I'm very interested in learning how the cold thermogenesis works out. Energy is something I struggle with too, and it's most likely for at least the same two reasons as the first two you listed. Yesterday, though, was a cooler day, and work had me outside for most of it. Surprisingly, I had plenty of energy to get me through the day, I slept well last night, and I woke up easily this morning. I hadn't even thought about the cold being a factor, but I'm intrigued now. Thanks for the ideas!
  2. Julia
    Valerie - I haven't been so excited about something like this in a long time. Can't-stop-thinking-and-researching! Will update, promise!
  3. Jen Barron
    Up and Running 2014 meet-up at the North Pole.....!?
  4. Pingback: The last and the first of the year | Up & Running