Commonwealth silver medallist and British high jump record holder, Isobel Pooley became the latest addition to Mammoth’s team of brand ambassadors in 2017. Now training in the German city of Frankfurt with her coaching team, Isobel had her mattress shipped to the continent so that she could continue to enjoy the very best comfort technologies in order to optimise her performance.
“I normally have two training sessions per day. I work both on technique in the field and on my strength in the gym. Sessions can be very hard, which is why the rest of my time is spent recovering – either eating or sleeping. It may seem like a repetitive way to live but I’ve been competing in the high jump since I was a teenager and it’s really become second nature to me now.
“Every time I complete a training session I still get such a buzz of satisfaction and endorphins. Even the aches and pains that come with strenuous activity don’t detract from the fun. I really love how well you can sleep after an intense training session when the body is completely fatigued.”
Isobel says that there is one very clear benefit to being a professional athlete: she can justify sleeping as an integral part of her recovery process. While everybody else is at work she will often head to her bedroom for a nap in order to allow the body to recuperate, repair and get ready for the next session. While this may seem counter-intuitive for an athlete to spend much of her time lying down, research shows that this is a crucial part of maximising the benefits of training.
“Recovery is the most important aspect of training and it’s crucial to renew and recover so being horizontal is the best thing for me after a session – especially as a very tall person who has to take good care of my spine.”
“High jump is an amazingly fun thing to do for a living and really the hardest part is simply when you pick up an injury and can’t compete in the sport you love – sometimes for months or years. When you can’t shake off an injury the challenge is to keep the motivation and passion alive.”
As an active person who loves the rush of adrenaline that comes with competing and pushing herself, Isobel likes to indulge in a number of outdoor pursuits when she’s not training on the athletics field. Bike riding and walking are among her favourite hobbies. Having moved to Frankfurt, she often finds herself exploring new parts of the city and immersing herself in the German culture. Isobel also practises yoga and says that she has even created a dedicated space in her home for pre-training stretching:
“I am very house-proud and I love making everything lovely. I have a tranquil, bright and light environment for yoga and my morning exercises. I have to admit the space also gets used for dancing!”
As you would expect from an elite athlete, Isobel is strict with her bedtime routine. Typically, she heads to bed for 10pm and rises at 8am, giving her a solid 10 hours of recovery. In addition, she allows for an extra 1-2 hours of napping time wherever she can squeeze it into her training schedule. She says, “I’m good with early starts if necessary. But late evenings are a bit trickier. I’m definitely nodding off by 11pm.”
Having converted to a Mammoth, Isobel says that it often isn’t until you try something of a genuinely high quality that you realise how poor your old sleep surface was:
“When I tried my Mammoth out for the first time it was simply so comfortable, moulding to my shape when I lay on my side without giving me stiff shoulder or sore back. The top layer is very soft and accommodating but the best part is that it’s still supportive – not saggy but reassuringly firm.
“I now look forward to my daytime nap more than ever . . . my Mammoth is not just the centrepiece of my bedroom, it’s the centre of my world!”