5 things a marathoner learned after running 100 miles with Google’s Pixel Watch

4. Fitbit’s Sleep Profile shed light on how rest affects my performance.

I’d been eager to try Fitbit Premium’s Sleep Profile ever since my colleague Zahra did a deep dive on the feature back in December.

While the Sleep Profile takes at least 14 nights to generate results, I was still able to get some other insights after just a couple of nights. The Sleep Stages and Sleep Score confirmed something I’ve long suspected: I’m a lousy, restless sleeper. On average, the app reported I only slept about 5.5 hours each night, spending a paltry 27 minutes of that time in restorative REM sleep. That might explain a few of my less-than-stellar morning runs.

Now there’s an easy way of telling when I might want to sleep in: After several days of consistently wearing my watch day and night to measure exercise, sleep and heart rate, Fitbit’s app will generate a Daily Readiness Score that can help me gut-check whether I should push myself in my workout, or I might need more rest. (Worth noting: This feature is exclusive to Fitbit Premium users.)

The connections between sleep and athletic performance are nothing new, but my Fitbit data helped me see a pattern I could no longer ignore. That inspired me to make some simple changes like setting my phone down earlier, drinking more water and reading instead of zoning out to the latest true crime docuseries before bed.

5. And it helped me prioritize rest and recovery.

I’m guilty of tunnel vision when I’m in training mode: I tend to sacrifice sleep, hydration, strength training and more all in the service of hitting that weekly mileage quota. On race day, those are all inevitably things I regret not prioritizing.

Thankfully, the Pixel Watch includes six months of Fitbit Premium, a platform that gives users deeper insights and access to features such as Daily Readiness Score that help you know whether to prioritize rest or go all-out at the gym. Premium users also gain access to more than 1,000 workouts and hundreds of mindfulness sessions.

You can also pull trends and wellness reports that help you zoom out and catch subtle performance improvements over time — perfect for runners on training programs that require weeks or even months of consistency.

A few patterns have already emerged in my insights. (For starters, I could use a lot more sleep, hydration and mindfulness.) Now I have the tools — and the occasional friendly nudge from my Pixel Watch — to do something about it.

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