All documents are the property of Sean Crandell and Cycling Movement unless otherwise sited. Feel free to download and read at your own pleasure.
Please remember this is NOT medical advice! If you are experiencing pain use your best judgment and seek out a physical therapist by visiting www.moveforwardpt.com. This content is here to bring information to the people. Use it at your own risk.
1. The Bike fit: it's no crystal ball
2. Bone Health in the Cyclist
3. Weight training for Cyclists
4. The Science to Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat (by Tyler Quinn)
5. Common Injuries
6. Recovery tools
"Since traditional injury prediction models aren’t scientifically accurate, using them as rule can cause unnecessary harm. Giving someone the expectation of pain, will in itself put someone at a greater risk of developing said pain [Webster]. It’s something I unfortunately see frequently with popular fitters on social media. “Your back is curved and if we don’t fix it you’re going to develop stress and pain in that area.” As stated earlier, this line of thinking is largely discounted by quality research. It also greatly underestimates our body’s ability to adapt.
Where fitters, and many health care practitioners for that matter, can improve is in their language. If someone looks a little “wonky” on the bike, but is asymptomatic, unsubstantiated predictions of injury is irresponsible. Instilling fear will far outweigh the effects of a minor fitting adjustment. If it aint broke, why fix it?"
Download the pdf below for the full blog post
Cycling is a vastly popular activity. Endurance cycling has many health benefits while simultaneously reducing impact forces found in running or team sports. Although high impact forces in excess can lead to injury, appropriate amounts of stress on your bones are imperative to overall skeletal health. As such, cyclists are considered at risk for bone disorders such as osteopenia and osteoporosis due to chronic de-loading of their skeletal system.
Osteoporosis is a bone disorder characterized by decreased bone mass or bone mineral density (BMD). The picture below depicts the progression of bone loss going from left to right, or healthy to unhealthy. Osteopenia is simply a milder version of osteoporosis, and if discovered can serve as a warning sign. Considering the relative frequency of crashes in cycling, stronger bones may reduce the risk of fracture or reduce the severity in the event of a fracture.
Photo from Medical News Today
There are many factors that play into bone health in the cyclist. These include sex, age, smoking, alcohol use, history of metabolic disease, activity choices and nutrition. I have done an extensive, however not complete, review of the evidence regarding these variables in cyclists. Below are three downloadable documents for your reading pleasure. The first is an article I wrote about bone health in cyclists. It’s written in two ways; for the athlete and for the clinician. The second document is the appended data table. Lastly I have uploaded slides from a lecture I did for the University of Pittsburgh athletic training program. Enjoy, and don't be afraid to reach out with questions or just start a conversation (email@example.com).
Most cyclists would agree that weight training is a positive adjunct to training. Not many, however, do participate in weight training on a regular basis due to perceived barriers, and if they do it’s only during the winter months. Weight training has been shown to be beneficial in multiple domains including bone health and cycling performance.
Barriers to most cyclists include difficulty fitting it in with other aspects of training, fear their weight will increase, soreness, fear of injury and inexperience to name a few. Many of these are misconceptions or simple fixes. I hope through the following articles, weight training will be more accessible to cyclists all year round considering the many benefits we can all receive.
Written by Tyler Quinn, M.S. from the University of Pittsburgh
Cycling MVMT has been lucky enough to have a local expert in exercise physiology and resident ultra endurance badass write an article about heat exertion in cycling. Tyler Quinn has done extensive research with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), taught exercise physiology and is currently working on a PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. He's also an accomplished ultra-endurance athlete, completing legendary races such as the Leadville 100 MTB, Barkley Marathons, countless iron mans to name just a few.
"Riding when it is hot and humid, especially at a high level, is particularly challenging. On hot days, the body gains heat through convection (air), conduction (direct contact), and radiation (sun). It also produces its own heat through exercise. When our core temperature increases, performance is compromised because the body must focus its attention on staying cool rather than making the muscles pedal harder. Decrements in performance can be avoided by developing a proper hydration plan by determining your sweat rate during exercise and working to replace all of those fluids throughout a competition. Additionally, heat acclimation and increased fitness can aid in dealing with the negative effects of cycling in the heat. These three strategies combined can give you the best shot at high performance on those hot summer days." Tyler Quinn
Below are two attachments. Both are full articles on this topic. The first one is more in depth and intended for the clinician or avid intellectual while the second is intended for the athlete.
Injuries happen and their cause varies. Other than trauma from crashes, the majority of injuries on the bicycle are chronic in nature. Over an hour on the bicycle at an RPM of 80, cyclists get around 4800 repetitions of a relatively monotonous motion. Any irritation of tissue can soon become compounded leading to pain and time off the bike (no good).
The resources included below go over different injuries that face cyclists. Each document will go over the injury itself, potential adjustments you can make to your fit and some evidence based approaches to rehab. I would like to reiterate, this is not medical advice. If you are experiencing pain, use your best judgment and seek out a physical therapist by visiting www.moveforwardpt.com.
“Economy of effort. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down” - Winston Churchill
Equally, if not more important than the training you do is recovering well. There are so many strategies out there, both new and old, that it can be difficult to prioritize your time. Some recovery tools have solid evidence to back them up while others rely on the placebo effect. Some come from thousands of years of practice while others are a product of technological innovation. I hope to shed light on some of the misconceptions behind certain recovery strategies/aids so that you know exactly what it is doing to your body.
That being said, I do believe the simple act of caring for yourself, regardless of the intervention, is the most powerful thing you can do to optimize recovery. Taking the time to be mindful of your body and giving yourself the opportunity to care for yourself is such a crucial part of operating at your best. Find what works for you as we all are different!