Therapydia Denver is excited to be partnering with NextStep Fitness for their upcoming Snow2Sand event kicking off in Denver on September 3rd. The goal of the charity bike race is to raise funding for healthcare and new facilities for people with paralysis. The team of 10 bikers and friends are doing the Snow2Sand 1,300 mile course in 8 days. Cycling for a that long of a distance in a short period of time requires extreme endurance training and physical preparation. At this point before the race, the team is working on gradually upping their training levels to prepare for what they’ll be facing on the journey. Besides having good mechanics on the ride, they also need to know how to move so they can prevent any sudden injuries.
The Training Regimen
With a few weeks before the race starts, the 10 person team is consistently training about 4 to 6 hours per day! It’s key for the team to balance all the repetitive movements they’re doing in a way so they don’t get injured. The team is being led by retired USMC Sergeant Brendan O’Toole and paralyzed athlete, Mike Murphy. Mike is completing the long race on a recumbent bicycle or handcycle, which means that for him it’s all about arm and shoulder strength. He’s getting in the same hours and preparing his body for the positioning he’ll need to power his bicycle. Overall, the whole team prepares this way: getting in the long hours, perfecting mechanics, and doing interval workouts.
In general, all of that overuse to their muscles puts a lot of strain on their ankles, knees, hamstrings, lower backs, and even the neck. Having strength in the right areas on the ride comes into play when considering how these overuse injuries can occur. For example, bike fit and an aggressive riding position can be at the source of lower back pain from cycling. To combat that, spending time working on core strength helps cyclists sustain the power they need during a ride. The lower back won’t be forced to compensate for the power that should be coming from the muscles around the core. Keeping to good mechanics on the bike also matters. Neck pain on a ride is because the muscles at the base of the skull get fatigued. Without proper positioning and bike fit, this will only aggravate your neck if you have to constantly crane forward. To prevent any issues with the knee, they have to make sure that they’re not diving inward while they cycle. Having to cover 1,300 miles in 8 days means preventing as much strain to your muscles as possible.
Role of Medical Support Team
Along with the team, a group of medical support staff will also be going along on the trek. One of our Therapydia Denver physical therapists, Casey, is part of the medical staff. Their main role is to get them through the journey and help them through any discomfort. Long hours on the bike might result in the medical team seeing a lot of lower back discomfort, quad soreness, and neck pain. They’ll most likely be feeling sore, fatigued, and have painful flare-ups in overused joints and muscles. They’ll use manual therapy and massage techniques to get rid of any muscle restrictions that may have built-up on the ride. Casey may also use dry needling techniques to release tension in overly tight muscles. They’ll also be available for any sudden injuries or accidents that may happen on the road, but hopefully will not. The goal of the medical team is to manage symptoms for everyone on the team. Relieving painful muscle tension and soreness is essential for the team to get through 8 days of constant cycling.
They’re Kicking Off In Denver
The mission of the Snow2Sand Charity Bike Race is to raise awareness for the paralyzed community and give them access to healthcare resources and facilities. The race to Los Angeles kicks off in Denver on September 3rd at 12pm at the Call to Arms Brewing Company. Come by to show your support for the team before the start their brutal journey. We’ll also be at the event with a booth to support the event. We’ll also be doing some complimentary kinesio taping for all attendees! Make sure you take the time to stop by.