Bianca Broadbent is a chartered physiotherapist and trained RETUL bike fitter. She was asked to come in to talk to the youth and other adult HMTBC members about injury prevention and correct bike fitting. It took part in the classroom at Hadleigh Park.
Bianca’s presentation was given in two parts; injury prevention strategies and basic bike positions and troubleshooting.
She started by explaining what happens to our bodies when we train and what factors can cause injury. There is a fine balance between overload and overtraining and it’s important to know and listen to our bodies. She explained the importance of warming up and warming down correctly and how it’s better to do dynamic stretching rather than static stretching as this is better for your muscles. After that, she spoke about training intensities and which levels are best depending on what training you are doing e.g. low intensity exercise is better for recovery but high intensity exercise is better for race preparation.
Her talk then went on to recovery. Recovery rides are something we should consider when we race a lot and so is the correct nutrition, both before and after the race. She said that we didn’t have to spend lots on protein recovery shakes as chocolate Nesquik is just as good!
After some questions and answers from the group, Bianca spoke about the importance of fitting your bike properly. Places that can become injured over time due to poor bike set up include the knees, lower back, upper back and neck. Saddle height and position, handlebars, cleat position and crank and stem length can all be adjusted to ensure your ride is comfortable and is in the correct position for your body.
At the end, Bianca told us about ways in which we could maintain a strong riding position. We can do this by improving our core muscles and by doing some strength and conditioning training. Yoga or Pilates is also useful to do for a strong core. Foam rollers are a helpful tool to improve a person's stretch, balance and core muscle strength. They can also be used as part of massage therapy.
Overall, I think everyone found the evening informative and interesting.
Thank you Bianca for giving up your time to talk to us.