Cycle training in Mallorca

Posted on 20th December by John Hampshire

Mallorca is a wonderful venue for cycling and hand cycling, particularly at this time of year and on into the spring. At this time, before the holiday season has started and the roads are clogged with cars, thousands of cyclists flock to the island and take over the smooth tarmac, rolling hills and mountains. The weather is warm but not too hot and there is very little rain.

I’m here with GB hand cyclist, Karen Darke, avoiding the British winter weather for her to get some quality training in. Karen talking to a German hand cyclist It’s pretty much a case of lots of time on the bike with some threshold sessions thrown in at this time of the year - pure hard work. Adding some heavy gym work and a few cross training sessions that Karen calls poling (pushing herself along in her chair with ski poles), I’m sure you can imagine that her muscles take quite a hammering.

Karen is a strong advocate of regular massage and a few things I have read recently have highlighted just how much time top athletes spend on the couch. On this trip we have adopted a very frequent and quite intensive treatment routine, not as much as the 6 hours a day that Gerard Hartmann’s excellent book states he provided for Paula Radcliffe in the run up to her 2:15 London Marathon, but around an hour each day of often quite deep work.

As we work together I can feel changes in the quality of muscles and tendons, and the quality of movement and range of motion at each joint. Rather than the usual muscle, tension stiffness and fatigue associated with such hard training, Karen’s muscles are actually getting better, aching less and performing better. The regular massage is allowing Karen to train harder and probably enhancing the training effect by speeding adaptation in the muscle physiology.

This morning, Karen told me “I was lying in bed this morning thinking how novel it is not to have sore shoulders whilst training this hard”, comments like that are what make my job worthwhile and fuel my desire to work harder in promoting the benefits of proper support in the pursuit of sporting goals, whatever they may be.

Recent blogs:

The best nutrition?

(Posted 17th May)

Nutrition is an interesting one; since before we started Fit for Purpose we have taken an interest in nutrition; Christine having been vegetarian for most of her life and then having vegetarian and vegan friends we naturally wanted to understand the impact of various nutrients on our bodies. A few years ago, taking a greater interest in the environment, Christine and John became vegan and both experienced feelings of improved health.

Read Story

April Fool?

(Posted 1st Apr)

Ironically, this April fools day showed me the reality. I have been fooling myself into ignoring the sad state of physical fitness I have drifted into.... ..... over recent weeks/months, thinking that I have a good base of fitness; recently introduced to Strava cycling and being slowest of my friends..

Read Story

Best warm ups for cycling and running

(Posted 7th Aug)

All this Olympic mania is very exciting and the GB team are performing amazingly well. More locally, I was chatting with a friend yesterday and he mentioned seeing a Tweet saying that Yorkshire would rank higher on the medal table than Russia! I haven’t checked but Yorkshire is certainly pretty good for sport at the moment.

Read Story