Monday, 22 August 2016

Cycling Series: From the Olympic Velodrome

If, like me you have been glued to the Olympics, you may well have a touch of post Olympic blues now it has finished. It has been an amazing two weeks of inspiring athletes and incredible talent with dedication and commitment that is off the scale. It has also been a record year for GB team members. In particular, the GB team excelled in the Olympic track cycling events which were super exciting to watch.

To help distract you from the fact that the 2016 Olympic Games is over, a good friend of mine who has been working at the Games has agreed to answer some questions for our latest blog. Mark Harris is physiotherapist to the New Zealand track cyclists and an extremely knowledgeable and talented practitioner that I am lucky enough to have worked with in the past. He was stationed in the inner circle of the velodrome and has kindly agreed to share with us some Olympic highlights and cycling tips.

Mark is a Physiotherapist with High Performance Sport New Zealand. He is also a part time Teaching Fellow University of Bath MSc Sports Physiotherapy.

Mark, what has the been the highlight for you at the Rio 2016 Olympic games?
Our team sprint winning a silver medal. Over the 4 years there is so much hard work, dedication and people involved along the way to the help toward the performance that the public see on television. Being part of the support team that has helped the athletes to achieve success is very rewarding

What are the most common overuse injuries you treat from you cyclists?
I am very lucky that the sprint athletes that I work with are in excellent condition and manage to stay relatively injury free, which is a big part of their success. In general with track cycling I would say that lower back and knees tend to be the areas most susceptible to overuse injuries.

Do you have any top tips on injury prevention in cycling in general?
Top tips for injury prevention would be to keep up with a regular strength and conditioning program. In my opinion this is the best way to avoid injury and is also supported by the published research on multiple sports. I would also recommend seeking the advice of a good Physiotherapist, Strength and Conditioning coach and Nutritionist.

What do your cyclists do for recovery after they have competed?
The key with recovery is to do the basics well, so having a good warm down post training and competition, fuelling appropriately during all phases of training, competition and post competition and then getting enough physical and mental rest. Everything else is just a bonus and can be more individual but you must get the basics right first.

Have their been any serious injuries in the Velodrome during the Olympics?
Yes one of our cyclist had a hard crash, luckily she had mainly skin loss, and a sore head. Crashes happen at high speed and there can be some very serious injuries at time so you need to be prepared to manage these.

Which is your favourite race?
My favourite race is the team sprint because we are World Champions and Olympic silver medallists!

Many thanks for your time Mark. We hope you got time to do some sightseeing in Rio.



The purpose of this blog, is to provide general information and educational material relating to physiotherapy and injury management. Bonne Santé physiotherapy has made every effort to provide you with correct, up-to-date information. In using this blog, you agree that information is provided 'as is, as available', without warranty and that you use the information at your own risk. We recommend that you seek advise from a fitness or healthcare professional if you require further advice relating to exercise or medical issues. We recommend seeking advise from a healthcare or fitness professional when starting new exercises.

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