New research hopes to go some way in helping Team Sky at this year’s Vuelta a España
A detailed infographic with advice on how best to prepare for long-distance competitions includes guidance on everything from how to avoid infections to tips on nutrition and physio, as well as post exercise recovery strategies.
Lead researcher Dr Neil Heron from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast, who is also part of Team Sky’s medical team said: “Working closely with Team Sky over two years, I realised that having a reference tool as a constant reminder with the top tips from medical staff, coaches and fellow cyclists would be really useful.
“In my career as a sports medic, I’ve seen athletes forced out of competitions due to preventable reasons such as contracting an infection through poor hygiene or not allowing enough time to acclimatise. For competitions like Vuelta which lasts three weeks, we want to support athletes to be in their best form for the duration.
“The infographic is a visual, accessible tool to remind the team of how best to prepare and maintain your fitness and health for competitiveness sport. As part of the research, I spoke with the team of cyclists, medical staff and coaches and this informed the final resource, published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in time for the Vuelta 2017.
Team Sky will be led by four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome who hopes to break a world record by being the first cyclist to take the double Tour and Vuelta win in one year.
Dr Mark Tully, researcher and Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, added: “The infographic summarises the key information that needs to be at the forefront of the cyclist’s minds. Having this displayed on the tour bus for example, with reminders such as taking a glass of milk and a well-balanced meal immediately after their ride is a simple but effective measure that can go a long way in helping to keep athletes at the top of their game.”