Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sleeping During Ragnar or a 24 hour relay

Catching some ZZZ's during Ragnar or other 24 hour relays isn't easy but it can be done.  If you get two hours sleep you're doing well.  If you manage five hours over the 24 hours you are a rock star.
Dan, catches some sleep in the bed of the truck
I've had my best sleep and my worst sleep sleeping inside the van.  My best sleep was at Hood to Coast. I sat on the floor of the van and rested my arms and head on the seat. I slept for 2 hours.  2 marvelous hours. My worst sleep was when I laid on the floor of the van and felt the dirt and grit and the smell of the oil from the rubber lined floor.

  1. Buy some earplugs. I even bring a couple pair with me in case I can't find my first pair.
  2. Bring a lightweight blanket to use in the van.  When you aren't running you may be able to catch a couple zzz's and having the blanket is more comfortable.  Plus everyone will want to use it.
  3. Some people like using eye masks to block light. My favorite trick is to pull my knit cap down over my eyes. It blocks light and I can still breath.
  4. I bring a small backpacking pillow and a sleeping bag liner and forego the real sleeping bag.  But when I've snagged someone's full size pillow while trying to sleep in a moving van it is 10 times better.  If there is space in the van and you don't have to fly to get to the race, a full size pillow is the way to go.
  5. Having a sleeping mat is helpful to roll out in the gym, on the grass, on the cement or wherever.
  6. Take advantage of the gyms offering sleeping areas.  It really isn't that bad to sleep in a room with a hundred other runners.  Besides the snorers (and they are always loud), it is relatively quiet and often dark.  It isn't as stinky and sweaty as it might sound.
  7. Sleeping in the van is possible but only works if well if the whole group wants to sleep.  If some of the van wants to shower and eat, they will be opening/closing the van doors while you are trying to sleep.
  8. Outside sleeping areas are great....unless the sprinklers come on.  Then it's a lot of fun to watch everyone wake up and run away.  
  9. At Ragnar Wasatch we use a  truck instead of a van and one of the runners cocoons himself into the truck bed and sleeps in-between all his runs.
  10. Sleep on grassy areas by parking lots. After our van finishes running Wasatch we park by the exchange in a business building parking lot, roll out our sleeping mats on the grass and get some rest.
  11. Don't try and sleep next to a building door that will open/close alot.  Also avoid high traffic areas.
  12. Don't sleep in parking lots.   Vans come and go and you're at risk of being run over.  Plus, it's against the Ragnar rules.
  13. Try and sleep when you can.  Even closing your eyes and resting will help give you energy.
What tips do you have to sleep during a Ragnar,, Hood to Coast or any other 24 hour relay?

Happy Running!


Black Knight said...

The Ragnar is not for me. I must always sleep in a comfortable way. Yes, I am getting always older.
Glad you enjoy this adventure and you are doing well.

Christy said...

Ear plugs and sleeping mask...those are good ideas I haven't tried. Awesome. Thanks for the ideas!

Anonymous said...

Dan still wins the award for most sleep ever during Ragnar. Back of the truck, sleeping mask, earplugs and multiple sleeping bags made him the winner!

Giorgio said...

Great to hear about your Ragnar challenge and it's easy to see you are in good shape!

Nasir DZ said...

To sleep for a long hours use earplugs
Earplugs for Sleeping