Training late at night

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Training late at night

Postby Darcy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:34 am

3 out of 4 of my team's weekly practices are at night. They finish around ten and I get home just before eleven.

This drives me nuts.

By preference I go to bed at 10 and get up at 6 or even 9 and get up at 5 and have a very regular pattern. I feel like I need the eight hours for my brain to function properly. I also work better at my PhD early in the morning. I see this as my sleeping pattern and training as disruptive to that pattern, although now I have written this down I realise this is not the case at all as half the week I cannot get to bed before 10. So actually in this light I am constantly struggling to achieve something unachievable!

The biggest problems, though, are winding down and eating.

I cannot sleep straight after training. If I try I just lie in bed all pumped up with the adrenaline and my mind rushing. Sometimes working over the training in my head. Sometimes even though I am exhausted I can lie awake until 2am, which I could/would never normally do had I not just spent three hours playing roller derby! After an actual game I can lie awake all night! I find it helpful to hang out a bit first, try to unwind, and then get into bed. But still not great (and by then also later).

I'm also never sure what to eat if I am about to get straight into bed. I want to eat right for recovery, but also for sleep.

I am particularly concerned about food and sleep for recovery at the moment because I have just got back after a break and don't want to stress my body out too much - but do want to train more and harder!

Any thoughts on this would be hugely appreciated. I have been living like this for a couple of years now and really need to do it better somehow.

Does anyone have any similar experience or train at night themselves?
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Re: Training late at night

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:46 am

I used to train at night in college. It sucked.
I used to play H2O polo, and practices were at 9 or 10 pm and I'd get home near midnight, behaving as if it was the middle of the day. Ugh. That *messed* me up good.

I don't have any clear solutions for your predicament, just empathy.

What I find helps most now, in staying on schedule, is to avoid bright lights at night (no computer/TV past 8pm), and to use as much natural light as possible during the evening. Darkness helps reset our circadian rhythms. Perhaps if you have a ritual of eating a lot of bananas (other simple carb fruit) as you drive/commute home, and then come to a dark dark house and DO NOT turn on light and DO NOT get on the computer or watch TV, you'll actually start being able to fall asleep ASAP. That's what I'd do if I could do college H2O again, and what I'd do in your situation.
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Re: Training late at night

Postby baldy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:02 am

I have had the same problem in the past, training Aikido in the evenings and not being able to sleep. Now also my weight lifting sessions end at like 10:30 then rush home and sleep.

When I was organised my usual plan was make sure you drink enough during training. Post training nail a shake to get some calories in, have some food waiting when you arrive home. Then I used to shower in the dark (or maybe with a few candles if no one was looking), this used to relax and unwind me enough to get to sleep quickly.

If you are not getting enough sleep, can you take a nap before training? Afternoon naps are great when you can get them, but you might need an energy drink you get you going again if you train as soon as you wake up.
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Re: Training late at night

Postby Darcy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:37 am

Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

Actually I think the not turning on laptop (tough one!) and showering the dark are both really good points which I will try. Good suggestions.

The laptop definitely does keep me up when I use it late (or in bed!) in general.

Maybe I could try to see showers less as functional/invigorating and more as relaxing...

Do I need to eat a whole meal or replace *all* the calories I've just used after training for recovery or can I just have a banana (which often fulfils fueling, refueling and recovery roles in my life!).

And do I need the protein? Even though it's not strength training - probably more comparable to a combination of martial arts training and racing training - my muscles will still need protein for recovery, right?

I could add a protein shake (oh to work out a good tasting one) as per baldy's suggestion if I need the protein. But cooking/digesting just keeps me up later.

Obviously I want to see maximum results, though, so will ultimately do what I need to do/eat what I need to eat!
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Re: Training late at night

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:58 am

You'll be better eating a large breakfast rather than trying to get all your calories back in on meal just after working out.
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: Training late at night

Postby baldy » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:11 pm

Darcy wrote:And do I need the protein? Even though it's not strength training - probably more comparable to a combination of martial arts training and racing training - my muscles will still need protein for recovery, right?

When I said shake, I actually meant chocolate soya milk, not a pure protein shake, your body wants carbs after training.
If for example you drink 500ml of chocolate soya milk that is about 300 calories which has got to be better than the 80 calories in a banana.
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Re: Training late at night

Postby xJimx » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:17 pm

The last ice hockey team I played for used to practice from midnight-2am (a lot of recreational 'beer league' teams train at this time of night as it's the only time rink hire is affordable).

Not to mention the rink was a 2 hour drive from home :lol:
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Re: Training late at night

Postby Darcy » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:34 am

Urghh xJimx I would never survive! I would sleep during the hockey! Did none of those people have to go to work in the morning!??!
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Re: Training late at night

Postby xJimx » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:04 am

Sorry forgot about this tread!

It was usually a Saturday night so people didn't have to work the next day, although I often had a roller hockey game on Sunday afternoon :)
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