- Name: Klodian Mitri
- Sport: Triathlon & Running
- Coolest accomplishment: Waiting for Ironman Triathlon World Championships 2019 to start (“It finally hit me that I was about to race among the best in the world. No matter how my day went, I earned my spot on that starting line.”)
- Favorite motto: Aspire to Inspire
- ChiliSleep Product: OOLER
What if the secret to running -- from training for your first 5K to completing a full Ironman -- was simply prioritizing sleep?
It would make sense that committing to a sleep routine would enhance performance, but we wanted to ask an actual endurance athlete about their own daily habits.
Luckily, we were able to sit down with a ChiliSleep user who just happens to be an inspiring endurance athlete: Klodian Mitri. He completed IRONMAN Cozumel 2018, finishing 2nd in his age group (09:20). He consequently qualified for and completed the IRONMAN Hawaii World Championship 2019 (09:32:24).
Klodian, who lives with his family in Utah, says the “endurance world” bug bit him about six years ago. A friend suggested he join him for a local triathlon in Chicago. As he recalls, he had “nothing going on and went and bought a bike” but admits that it was the hardest thing he’d ever done. With his first triathlon accomplished, he was motivated to continue the hard training and commitment it takes to compete in the endurance world. Eventually, he signed up for an Ironman.
As any endurance athlete knows, the sport can take up a lot of time. Despite his enviable successes, Klodian says that more training actually isn’t the answer to competing in endurance sports. The key, he admits, is learning to hack his time -- the same 24 hours we all have -- to accomplish more.
Prior to using the OOLER to cool his sleep, Klodian says he was looking for simple daily fixes to maximize his training. He actually found out about ChiliSleep when listening to a podcast with one of the greats in the sport of triathlon, Greg Bennett.
“He mentioned how it revolutionized his sleep,” says Klodian.
Then, he heard a friend raving about how another ChiliSleep product, the Cube, was giving him a mega REM boost.
“The biggest selling point for me was a friend was using the Cube with Oura ring. He told me that within the first day of getting his Cube, the readiness score went up. He can sleep the same amount of time but sees that shift and growth period happening in his sleep. The REM boost is a wonderful story!”
Maximizing Your 24 Hours
Just like conditioning your body to do anything else, the key to deep sleep is sticking to a solid routine that works for you. Here are more of Klodian’s opinions and tips on improving sleep quality and enjoying life.
1. Start With the Night Before
How can we lessen daytime exhaustion and have the energy to exercise more? How can anyone use their waking hours more effectively? Klodian says the answer to a good day actually starts the night before.
“Anyone can prioritize their own sleep so that their waking hours mean even more. Creating and sticking to better sleep habits is an investment you make every night for the health and well-being of your future self.”
2. Focus on Sleep and Nutrition
He says that the two biggest things people take for granted are free: sleep and nutrition.
“Getting the most out of your sleep will help you ten-fold over spending money on new fancy bikes. Since I started taking triathlons more seriously, it became apparent that the surest way to significant gains wasn't through expensive and flashy bikes...but rather by maximizing my own personal growth and development through sleep. Everything else is secondary in my opinion.”
3. Establish a Family Bedtime Routine
Feeling well-rested can sometimes feel like an oxymoron to parents with young kids. But here’s how he maximizes the bedtime routine.
“Kids are the epitome of energy. But honestly, it has been a blessing in disguise for me as an athlete. Every night at 7 pm, my wife and I tag-team putting our two kids to bed, and after that is done, it’s the perfect time for me to start unwinding from work and anything else that has been distracting me throughout the day. It allows me to refocus on connecting with my wife and trying to calm everything before sleep.”
4. Work to Improve REM
He says that he and his wife have different temperature preferences, and using the OOLER’s app-scheduling system gives them the ability to address their different cooling needs. Plus, he’s been able to track his REM and deep sleep each night.
“I see how the quality of my sleep has changed since using the OOLER. I am still sleeping the same 8-9 hours, but feeling full of much more energy than in the past. The great thing is that my wife has been experiencing the same quality of sleep even though the demands of her daily activities as a stay-at-home mom are much different.”
5. Unlock Increased HGH
Getting the deepest sleep lies in temperature regulation. ChiliSleep’s temperature-regulated cooling mattress pads not only improve deep sleep, but they also stimulate a natural boost in human growth hormone (one study found that a whopping 70% of HGH release occurs during deep sleep).
“I’ve been a hot sleeper but accepted my fate of constantly playing with my comforter every 15 minutes and cold sweats in the middle of the night...but then ChiliSleep came into the picture and I have slept like a baby, every...single...night.”
6. Don’t Take Sleep for Granted
Sleep is something we take for granted but should prioritize.
“I see it now with my kids...they have all the time in the world to nap, but they fight me on it....and here we are as adults deeply craving naps, but with no time to. So the 8-9 hours window at night, I want to maximize that time because that is when the most adaptation and growth occurs. There is no point in training as hard as I do if I am not going to allow my body to absorb that training. There are workouts where I am pushing that red line to really see where my potential lies, and on those days I make sure to allow myself to get a few extra minutes or hours when possible.”
7. Get Outside...and Have Fun
Last but not least, Klodian wants to get people moving. He says it doesn't have to be Ironman. Perhaps it could be trying a “Couch to 5K” program to run your first race. Maybe it’s committing to walk a one-mile neighborhood loop every morning to start the day off right. Whatever level of fitness you’re at, start there and keep going.
“If I can get to this point, anyone can do it. I really believe that we're all born to move, to run... just to be outside. I want my life to be an example for others to get out there and be active. My first Ironman wasn’t the best but it inspired me to see what I could do. In high school and college, my athletic ability ranged from math club to debate team! But now I’ve become hooked on endurance sports. It sparks joy in me, no matter how demanding life gets, I need that because it sets my day.”
Inspired and ready to follow along as Klodian crushes new goals in 2021? Find Klodian on Instagram at @klodiangosling.