Jen Rulon - Ironman - 70.3

Here is a conversation that I hear all the time about 70.3 Ironman Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon in Lubbock, TX.

Athlete: When is your next race?

Me: In 1.5 weeks. 70.3 IM in Lubbock.

Athlete: OH MY GOD. You are doing Lubbock?

Me: Yeah. Why not? It’s a great race.

Athlete: It’s hot. It’s hilly. It’s Lubbock.

Me: Oh, have you done that one?

Athlete: No that is what I have heard

Me: So, you have never done Lubbock but you are listening to someone else fears about the course?

In 2001, I wanted to do an Ironman 70.3 and back then, it wasn’t event called Ironman 70.3!  I saw one in Texas. Signed up for it!  Yes, it was Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon. I had NO IDEA of what I was getting into and honestly didn’t know how challenging the course really was. But, I knew I wanted to do a half Ironman before my full Ironman (IM-WI in September 2002).  I chatted with my coach at the time and we discussed things about Lubbock:

What I knew about Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock:

How often do we hear, “I will sleep when I am dead?” Sleep is crucial for our success, and I am not just talking about triathletes. I am saying that business owners, parents, entrepreneurs, and even kids, need their sleep. As a coach, I tell my athletes: ”Sleep MUST be a part of your routine. It is part of your recovery and your success as an athlete.”

Why? Scientific literature has shown what happens to athletes who are lacking sleep, whether it may be acute sleep deprivation or chronic sleep deprivation. The lack of adequate sleep for athletes can cause many different issues such as:

  • Both aerobic and anaerobic performance can decrease.
  • A decrease in competitive ability.
  • A decrease in their determination or their drive.
  • A decrease in intensity for their training (i.e.: Rather do a 30 min run, than interval work on the track).
  • Negativity toward various aspects of life (training, work, family, etc.).
  • A greater amount of overall fatigue.

We see above what goes on physically and mentally during a lack of adequate sleep. What is going on internally in the body with lack of sleep for an athlete?