Thursday, 17 April 2014

Looking forward to Easter!

Is it sad that coming up to Easter the thing I'm looking forward to most of all, even more than my Easter egg, is the arrival of my new mattress?
The healthiest Easter Egg I could find:-)

  It's funny to reflect, but one of the hardest things to get to grips with on the GB program is just how much sleep I am supposed to have.  Not just time in bed, but 8 hours of quality sleep... Sleep is where your body repairs and recovers. Good sleep means you can train hard day after day. After years of choosing my own bedtime it's like being a child again - being sent to bed earlier than I want ... and I havn't even been naughty!!

 As an adult choosing my own bedtime has been one of life's simple pleasures and with my busy schedule, sleeping less than 5 hours a night has been commonplace. 

Even when I was training for 24 hour mountain bike racing I would frequently only go to sleep when I was so tired that I couldn't think straight, I would then choose to leap out of bed early the next morning.  My coach even put in 3am training sessions to help me get used to functioning when every cell in my body wanted to sleep.  She also used to tell me I needed recovery time, but I'm not convinced I ever really got it.....

Ragged at the end of a training session :-(

 All that has changed. Just as a child and a teenager need sleep to grow I am building up so much new power that I need more and more sleep to help my muscles recover and get stronger. As much as I hate to admit it, the research supporting the theory that quality sleep is a crucial for fast recovery is right.  If I want to get stronger and faster I simply have to get more sleep.  One of my strangest training goals for this season has been the search for a new mattress to replace the old one which is uncomfortable.

 Mattress buying is the strangest thing. Lying down with your partner on a bed in the middle of a busy shop feels a bit naughty - or am I the only one who thinks this? 

And there are so many mattresses out there that are all so different... As a physio, and someone with a history of 2 serious back injuries I am incredibly particular about what I sleep on and I felt much like goldilocks finding something wrong with every mattress I found. In true female shopping style I dragged Simon to loads of shops without giving in to his exasperated pleas "this is just like the last one" doh! no it's not!! 

Finally, after much research as well as the field testing of lying down, turning over and head shaking (me) eye rolling (Simon) we (I) now know we have found the perfect mattress :-)

Mammoth claim to make mattresses that are loved by athletes and "Olympians".

 They came up in my research and I don't usually do hype, so they were just one of many I tried out.  I have to say that as soon as I lay on one I smiled - "Just right", said Goldilocks".  Simon was away at the time, but as soon as he got back I found an excuse to drag him into a shop.  Within moments of lying down he was gently snoring (he says it was jet lag having just flown in from Thailand, but I recon it was the uber comfy mattress)

 I will be open with you - I am immensely grateful to the fantastic folk at Mammoth who have been incredibly supportive and I can't thank them enough!
 This mattress will definitely help with my training!

 So it's Easter coming up.  I will have an Easter egg, (and won't tell my coaches just how big it is), but they will be pleased to hear my new mattress is coming - because sleeping properly for 8 hours is going to be the easiest gain ever in my training.

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