callum skinner

by notinthepeloton

Thursday 25th October 2018

We are vulnerable to a bit of Netflix and a cuppa' before we go to bed. If you're interested we've just finished Better Call Saul, well worth watching! Most nights, we grab roughly 7 hours sleep, for us, that's fine, for an Olympian, it's a different ball game especially if you're on the move between races and travelling all over the globe. One thing that we have loved since Mrs Notinthepeloton made us invest in is our bed and in particular, the mattress and pillow (we love our pillow - it has that memory foam!). Callum Skinner is coming into his prime and to help him go further, premium mattress makers Tempur have decided to sponsor him so he gets the best night's sleep and recovery. Callum, take it from us, you won't go back to spring mattresses anytime soon...


Hi Callum, thanks for giving us the opportunity to speak to not just any Olympian, but a gold medallist at that! So our first question has to be do you wear it to bed!


Haha no, but I keep it close by.

So speaking of rest and recovery and how intricate training plans for professional athletes can be, how strictly is the amount of sleep you need embedded in you by your coaches?


When it comes to sleep it’s so personal. The coaches will just gently nudge you if they think you aren’t getting enough sleep. You don’t want to go too hard on a topic such as this, stressing about sleep will make things worse. 


We love our memory foam pillow! Beforehand, our mattress was lumpy and our pillow was too soft, always woke up achy. Now, our body feels recuperated. Have you ever had a really bad nights sleep where it has affected your race the next day?


Yes of course, everyone has I’m sure. It tends to be when I’m away from home as at home I have my Tempur mattress and pillow. I feel totally supported and wake up well rested. 


We read a lot about what not to eat and drink before you go to bed especially the amount of caffeine you drink. We adore tea (has to be Ceylon!) and will sometimes have a cuppa before we sleep. Weirdly, this does not affect our sleep so what’s your take on caffeine intake throughout the day?

As much as you think having a caffeinated drink before bed may not impact your sleep it does, more so in the quality than the length. I tend to avoid caffeine from about 3pm to give my body enough time to get it out of my system before bed. Sometimes we compete quite late though, and we heavily use caffeine when competing - its these nights that I find it really hard to get to sleep.


Do you have a ritual before you sleep? For instance, shoes and socks out ready for the morning or a favourite bed time story?!

Not particularly, I think it’s best to keep your bedroom as a place for sleep, no laptops, computers etc. 


Another thing we are prone to is a power nap. Even a 20 minute session of shut eye and we feel energised. Do pro cyclists sneak a nap in between training sessions or is it frowned upon by the coaches? 


Caffeine naps are quite popular with in the team. The idea is you have a coffee and go to sleep before the caffeine kicks in then the caffeine wakes you up. It’s a great way to get a little power nap and not let it drag on for hours. Napping is encouraged by the coaches, more rest means we can do more work.


When do you start adapting to the time differences for Tokyo or is there anything implemented in your training plans to overcome any issues when transitioning over into Asia?


Flying west tends to be easier, east is always a pain. I have my own way with dealing with jet lag it’s as simple as soon as you step on the plane changing my watch to local time and acting as if I’m already there, i.e. if I should be sleeping, I sleep, if I should be eating, I eat. It means I get a head start on jet lag and can hit the ground slightly more acclimatised. 

We don’t want to scare you off retirement but when you do eventually hang up the cleats, do you envision yourself in a coaching role or does Skinner’s Spokes have a catchy ring to it?! 

I wouldn’t mind doing a bit of coaching. I’m not too sure about venturing into the private market so Skinner’s Spokes is on hold for now!

Final question and it might need some thought, you’ve booked a camping trip away back up in Scotland and you’re taking a 3 man tent but because you need the sleep for a race coming up, which team mates wouldn’t you invite? Basically, what we’re asking, is who snores or cycles in their sleep?! 


Kian Emadi and Philip Hides sleep like babies, Ryan Owens and Joe Trueman can snore the house down.


Thank you for your time and we will keep an eye out on your progress leading up to 2020.