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 just as important as her training over the last few weeks.

Feeling fragile after a recent 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 told us. “I was not feeling the best all week 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!,” she laughed.

Her experience on foam rollers was limited prior to starting her training but she recognises the 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 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 them out and works 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.”

She has found it especially useful after a long day in the car and on her feet at work.

“Totally. Your lower back, glutes, if they are tight, your back, your hamstrings will be at you and this is why the foam roller is so helpful – I’m using it even when I’m watching TV! Just to give yourself a good stretch, it might hurt a bit but that’s the way you know it’s working!”

Hayley also branched out to using fitness technology in the shape of a FitBit Flex to keep her up

“I’ve been spending my time getting the hang of it, because to be fair there is a lot to it, there are so many bits to it that keep surprising me. 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.”

“You’re finding new parts to it the whole time, even with my running it tells me how far I’ve gone, the pace I’ve been going at, things I wouldn’t know. You can input your age, your weight, whether there’s any weight loss 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, it’s very unobtrusive and light.”

Hayley discovered that her fitful sleeping habits can be an issue prior to running so she’s hoping to get in more sleep before the Vhi WMM race day.

“With my sleep [patterns] it’s telling me that I’m only sleeping five hours a night – I would have thought it was more, but I wake eleven times a night on average. You don’t realise why you’re shattered in the morning – you’re thinking you’re after a good night’s sleep. It’s great like that, it’s really helpful.”

“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. 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 just as important as training.”

Follow Hayley’s progress and much more on every week until the big day June 6th