sleep planning on long ultras

4 messages
24/10/2011 at 17:02
Hi folks has anyone got any ideas on how to plan sleep time on a 260mile ultra.
Some info on the science of sleep would be good.
The race is no split into defined sections without compulsory stops but should take about 6 days.
About 6 checkpoints where comfyish sleep area should be available. In between its get out the tent time.(not a nice thought)
I want to make good time and get the best quality out of my hours sleep without wasting time. I can,t afford to fall asleep on the trail as its the Pennines in Jan and Hypothermia will be a major concern.
I have run 100milers without sleeping. Anyone done the PTL , TDG or similar events?
Edited: 24/10/2011 at 17:18
24/10/2011 at 22:05
Ian,

I havent done the PTL or TDG, but i generally sleep 'on the hoof', so to speak, during very long ultras of 100 miles or more.. Basically, when you get to a relatively flat section of Trail, simply close your eyes and run. Reduce your pace by approximately 35%, and be sure to set your alarm on your watch for a sleep period of no more than 30-40 mins at a time. Do this once every 2 hours when you are tired. It has always worked for me.

Conversely, Ive heard stories of old French 'Traileurs' who, in days gone by, utilized the Gallic 'One-Eye' system, whereby they closed one eye at a time for a period of no more than 57 minutes per eye.. French medical and sports scientists have since stated that this practise can revive one side of the brain at a time, whereby eventually the whole brain is refreshed..and no sleep is necessary.

Ive noticed this system has been embraced by a number of upcoming young French and particularly Basque participants of the UTMB in recent years. It may be all you need to run the entire 268 miles of the Spine Race without ever having to stop for rest or sleep.

Hope this helps.

Mark
02/05/2012 at 04:02
The checkpoints on the Spine are spaced so you should only have to spend a max of one sleep stop out on the trail. The sleep gained in the checkpoints is far more efficient and beneficial than anything you will get if you rough it out.

A gtx bivvy bag, sleeping bag, and the warm layers in my bag was enough to get a few hours kip during the 61 mile leg of the race. Whatever you choose to use for sleeping out, give it a couple of trial runs in different conditions- knowing what your going to expect and having a routine will save valuable time in the cold.

02/05/2012 at 22:20
mark777 wrote (see)
Ian, I havent done the PTL or TDG, but i generally sleep 'on the hoof', so to speak, during very long ultras of 100 miles or more.. Basically, when you get to a relatively flat section of Trail, simply close your eyes and run. Reduce your pace by approximately 35%, and be sure to set your alarm on your watch for a sleep period of no more than 30-40 mins at a time. Do this once every 2 hours when you are tired. It has always worked for me.
really? wow!

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