Winter Running: Boost Your Immune System
Train Your Body How to Not Get Sick
Immune to It All
Tweak Your Training
The Critical 72 Hours
Adequate rest is not only crucial for your performance, but for your overall well-being, says Lewis G. Maharam, MD, medical director for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series and author of Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Running. After strenuous workouts, sleep plays a critical role in restoring the body, he says. And research shows that repeated lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) lowers your immunity protection by up to 50 percent. In fact, a study of German athletes found that risk of upper-respiratory infections was highest in those who reported sleep deprivation and stress. If you're having trouble getting to sleep—or staying asleep—in the days leading up to your race, you may need to back off your training. Insomnia can be a symptom of overtraining. Still can't snooze? Make sure you're going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, try jotting down any worries before turning in, and start winding down 30 minutes before bedtime.