Tips from Dr Margie Barry to keep your riding at your best for the Tour Down Under BUPA Challenge and more.
It’s that time of year in Adelaide, when we are overwhelmed with the sight of lycra on our streets. That’s right, the Tour Down Under is here, starting last night with the city circuit and Stage 1 to kick off tomorrow.
As a Chiropractor who worked as part of the medical team for the Australian cycling team from 1997 to 2006, this is the time of year where I start to see a few injuries from cyclists as you are riding a little more often than usual as you follow the tour or maybe in the last month, you have increased your training to ensure you are 100% prepared for the BUPA challenge.
As we get closer (and I hope you have already been doing the extra kilometres on the road), here are some of my tips to prepare you for the not just the miles during the tour but tips to keep you riding at your best all year round.
1. Check your bike
If you’ve been riding for a while, when was the last time you had your bike checked? Ensuring everything is all in the right position to ensure you are at maximum comfort when seated in the saddle, therefore minimising discomfort and injury.
Check your tyres, frame, handle bars, etc and ensure the height of your saddle is just right for you. Too high can cause you to rock side to side on the saddle, causing instability in the pelvis and straining lower back muscles that you use to stabilise.
If you are just dusting off your bike and embracing the tour, getting your bike fitted correctly by a specialist is a must on the to-do list. It will not only make for a more comfortable ride, but prevent unnecessary injuries.
For a professional fitting service with reasonable pricing to match, we recommend visiting Steve Nash and his team at Adelaide Bike Fit – adelaidebikefitcom.au
2. Schedule an adjustment
If you are feeling any of the following, we recommend coming in to see one of our expert Chiropractors for a check-up and an adjustment.
- Any saddle soreness, chafing and blisters – this can be an indication of the saddle being in the wrong position which would effect the alignment of your body
- Excessive feeling of needing to shift in your saddle more than normal
- Aching between your shoulder blades and neck
- Pins and needles in your hands
3. Taking care of your body
Every time we head for a session on the bike, it is too easy to jut go for the ride and then get on with our day at the end of the ride, forgetting to take care of our bodies. This is the simple task of stretching and massage both in clinic or at home care.
Cycling posture can put extra pressure on your joints, muscles and ligaments and discs in your back so ensure you stretch before and after each session. Paying particular attention to your hamstrings and hip flexors.
When you come in for your adjustment, we can assist you with providing specific stretches for you to incorporate into your ride. In our clinics, we also have the tools including spikey balls and foam rollers to assist with your home care plus masseuses available at all three of our clinics.
4. Plan your ride to take a little bit longer
If this is your first BUPA ride or any long distance race make sure you take into consideration that the bike race may end up taking you a lot longer than you anticipate.
For example, you might plan to ride at 30km/ph, however with unexpected wind conditions, temperature, hills, and large riding groups, it may take longer.
Therefore, plan your ride to be a little longer when preparing your hydration and food intake before, during and after the race. Food is so easily forgotten as part off this but is essential to ensure you don’t get “hunger flat”.
Good luck! I wish you the best in the challenge or increasing your fitness through cycling and look forward to seeing you for a pre-race check up or anytime to get your body ready to perform at it’s peak.
Need to book an appointment?
Call our team at any of our three practices located in Henley Beach, Norwood or Normanville to make a time that suits you.
08 8235 1922
08 8363 5773
08 8558 3834