Sleep-Train Tradeoff

  • Creator
  • #72391

    Hi all,

    I’ve been following a training regime for a few years now from UA to complete various West Coast alpine rock and ski mountaineering climbs. I had a baby this summer (child #2) so that of course impacts my ability to train consistently in earnest. I was typically training 5-6 days a week, 3 days of running, 2 days of strength/core/base, and 1 day outside. As a general rule, if I had an opportunity to go outside and climb or ski, I would do that at the expense of a “structured” training day; this was usually about twice a week depending on my schedule.

    My question: my time is very pressed, obviously, and as I cannot spend the same amount of time in the gym/running/climbing as I was even 6 months ago, and will not for the next year or so, I need to make some tradeoffs. The main tradeoff I see right now is sleep versus train: that is, I can train “normally” (2-2.5 hrs, say) but then it eats into my sleep OR I can train less and sleep more. Even 1 extra hour of sleep feels like half a day sometimes. I’m leaning toward “train less, sleep more” for the simple reason that sleep is absolutely critical to physical and mental recovery but I’m wondering what other folks’ experience has been and advice they may have.

  • Participant
    juskojj on #72392

    i started training when i wasn’t working, when i started working again my time got smashed similar to having a kid (which i do have 2) i base it on how i’m feeling if i get too tired i give up training and sleep, always take care of your body. for instance just this morning i was out on my run i was so tired during it, i cut the run short went home and napped on the couch for 20min before needing to get up to lunches made and ready for work and kids for school.

    i recently started waking up 30min before i normally do for my runs to get longer runs in, it’s helped but it also takes a toll depending on how i sleep. it’s all going to come down to how your baby is and your wife…… my 1st woke up every hour or 2 hrs and my wife and i took turns taking care of him…. there is no way i could have trained being that sleep deprived, worked a full time job and everything else. at times i could barely stay awake at work…..

    aslamkhan on #75362

    Hey there! Congrats on baby #2! That’s a huge accomplishment, and I’m sure you’re adjusting to the new schedule. Sleep is key for recovery, and it’s great that you’re considering that as a priority. Have you tried any sleep devices to improve your sleeping habits? I’ve heard good things about Dodow. It’s a device that helps you fall asleep faster by guiding your breathing. I’ve read a post on “does dodow work?” and I think it might be worth giving a shot. It’s always good to try new things and see what works best for you. Just keep in mind that sleep and training are both important, so finding the right balance that works for you is key.

    Jeremy on #75423


    I do not have kids but i do work two jobs, so take this for what it’s worth. My after-work training would sometimes get pushed aside because of a work related emergency etc. I would get so frustrated. So i started waking up before 5am to get my workouts in before starting work at 700am. Ill go to bed at 900pm so still getting in enough sleep but have less time in the evenings. I found a way to get it all in i guess.

    But about sacrificing sleep, to me, sleeping, resting and eating is where your are growing/getting stronger from the stress load of training. So it may be as important or more than the training. If one is deficient in one of those areas, increasing training wont do anything. I feel guilty when im not following my training plan to the T. But i remember one of the coaches saying something to the effect of “i dont know what your plan is going to be in two weeks, because it is constantly being evaluated depending on your response to the training.” So regarding your sleep, i would suspect that if an athlete was monitoring their training response(ie: how tired your are, morning heart rate, timed workouts, or the like) and found that you were performing less than expected you would look to see if you are overtraining or not resting enough. Meaning whether you need more or less sleep will depend how you are absorbing the training. I think the goal kinda has to be, given my age, job, family, and other commitments, what is the maximum training effect i can have. I know, it sucks!

    JB on #75485

    Just my two cents. In agreement with others and science, sleep is paramount, particularly in the long view. Is every training day 2-2.5 hours as stated above. If so, some could be made more time efficient.

    My youngest is now 18, so that world is far behind us. Some things that help for me is all my training can happen in my house or from my front door. I’m fortunate that a great trail system is near my house. Its only 30 min for me to drive to the ski hill but that has been more compromised lately for budgeting time elsewhere.

    A great deal of my exercises happen in the living room where we keep dumbbells, adjustable kettlebell and pull up bar. This saves me time when its my dinner time and when my kids where young, we were still all sharing time together. We have a squat rack in house that my son and his friends also use. Good luck.

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