Elverys Intersport Vhi WMM ambassador Hayley Coleman has pushed on with her preparation for the June Bank holiday weekend and she has found that rest and recuperation is as important as her training over the last few weeks.
Feeling fragile after a 10k race in Castlebar, Hayley has been singing the praises of her Trigger Point foam roller.
"I've been using it all week since I did a 10k on Sunday," she laughed. "I was not feeling the best in the run up to the race, but I said I'd do it anyway but I was sore since. I went and did another 5k then, and a few (fitness) classes and maybe I should have rested but [the foam roller] has been brilliant. I've been living with it all week!"
Her experience on foam rollers was limited prior to starting her training but she recognises its benefit now.
"I would have used it in the gym but because I didn't have one at home I wouldn't have spent as much time using them. It completely loosens out any knots you have, it is really good. I didn't know that my hip flexors would be so tight and that's from the running, but I've used it on those and my glutes all week and they are a lot better now. If you have little knots it helps stretch out your muscles. It's been great, I think I'll keep using it all the time."
"The guys in the gym showed me how to use it properly and if you have one you need to know what to do, but if you do it's really beneficial. I wouldn't have known what to do with it before, I'd have been just looking at it but it's been great."
With her job bringing her all over the country as well Hayley has seen the benefit of using a foam roller after driving.
“Totally. Your lower back, glutes, if they are tight your back, hamstrings will be at you and especially after travelling long distances this is why the foam roller is so helpful - I'm using it even when I'm watching TV at home! It gives you a good stretch and it might hurt a bit but that's the way you know it is working!
Hayley also branched out to using fitness technology in the shape of a FitBit Flex to keep her updated on her training and it has been a real eye opener she says.
“You can track your steps, you can check your sleep patterns, everything. I get an email which tells me what my most active day was, and that is great because it is a good reminder of where you are [with your training].
“You're finding new sides to it the whole time - with my running it tells me how far I've gone, the pace I've been going at, things I wouldn't know otherwise. You can input your age, your weight, the weight loss figures you want to reach, when you want to lose it by, how much you've lost each week - it's a great help. You wouldn't even notice you have it on either!”
Crucially it has given her an insight into her sleeping patterns and she’s discovered she is sleeping less than she believed herself – “only sleeping five hours a night - I would have thought it was more, but I wake eleven times a night on average”, Hayley revealed.
“After the 10k I was shattered and I only really came back to myself a few days after but what happened was that I was working very hard that week and I was up at 5am, 6am every day, and by Sunday (race day) I woke up and I was shattered and what I learned was that I need to ensure that I have plenty of rest in the days leading up to the race itself on June 6th. I was burnt-out, and maybe a bit dehydrated. It shows how important sleep and rest is and it's almost as important as rest.”