Becci Skelton on sleep and sporting success
Sheffield-born Becci Skelton is an Elite and World Cup downhill mountain bike racer and full time personal trainer. In 2016 Becci joined the industry acclaimed SPS (Steve Peat Syndicate) - a global mountain bike team which provides a complete race development program for World Cup racers. Despite breaking a few bones early last year, Becci is back on her bike and cycling her way into a promising 2017.
Becci’s training regime
Becci began her sporting career as a personal trainer, something she still pursues to this day. This means that in addition to her race training, she also works full time at a local gym, training clients and running classes. In a typical week, Becci will undertake Thai boxing, strength and conditioning work, teach several spin classes, as well take part in her own turbo bike sessions, which are essential for her race training.
To keep her body balanced, Becci also practices Yoga and rides her bike as much as possible in her free time, away from the gym. As a member of SPS, Becci benefits from a supportive training system which has been put in place to help racers be as efficient and as effective as possible. She’s had a few months off over the winter months, but is now ramping up her training regime ahead of the 2017 race season.
Becci works more than 40 hours a week at the gym, and then fits her training in on top of that, so by the time she finishes for the day she’s certainly ready to hit the hay. She will often get home late due to work or training, and is back up at 4.30am to do it all again, so the sleep she does manage to get really has to count. For the past few years, Becci has suffered with a bad back and consequently struggles to get to sleep - and stay asleep - each night.
Since switching to her new Sealy mattress, Becci has been sleeping “a million times” better. Her back issues, although not completely resolved, are not giving her as much pain during the night and the frequency of her spontaneously waking has also decreased.
“Getting a good night’s sleep is fundamental to train effectively. Since sleeping on a Sealy mattress, I have more energy, my body and mind are better rested, and I just feel in a better state of mind to take on the day.
“Due to the high-risk nature of my sport, it’s also really important that I am fully switched on when competing or training on the bike; if I make a split-second decision slightly late or wrong because I’m tired and not rested enough, it could quite easily end in a bad crash and injury.
“When I’m asleep, it’s my body’s time to repair, recover and rejuvenate itself. This is a massive part of my training. If this doesn’t happen, I cannot train and compete at my optimum, so I always make sure I allow enough time for this fundamental part of my day and don’t neglect how powerful a good night’s kip is!”