QUESTION: Any advice for night-before-the-race jitters? I usually have no problem sleeping through the week, but the night before my last race I only slept three hours! Does this happen to anyone else?
HAL’S ANSWER: Anyone else? No, it happens to everyone else. Let’s take a quick survey: Those who have slept soundly the night before an important race, please raise your hands. (I thought so.) Pre-Race Jitters is a universal disease. This is why sleep the night before "the night before" is more essential. Store up on rest the Friday night before a Sunday marathon. Grab a nap Saturday afternoon after coming back from the expo. Go to bed whenever you want, knowing that you are probably going to need to get up inexcusably early to do all the things one needs to do before an early-morning race. If you have to lie awake for an hour (or two or three or four) staring at the ceiling of your hotel room, relax. You have plenty of company. In fact, knowing that fact might allow you to get to sleep more easily next time.
Hal uses TrainingPeaks to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans. Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here or on his website. Archived Q&A's from Hal can be found here.