Getting Started: Training Tips and Tricks

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By Jason Brayley, M.D.

Hello riders! I am excited to be a part of your journey that will ultimately bring you to the starting line of an exciting event that is bringing a level of awareness to the fight against cancer like none other the Seattle area has ever seen.

If you’re involved in Obliteride, cancer has undoubtedly had a profound effect on you or someone you love. I will never forget the experience of hearing about my own mother’s diagnosis of ovarian cancer when I was just 11 years old, and what it felt like to be part of a journey that successfully beat this nasty disease. I am honored to think that perhaps my own cancer experience (as well as my professional credentials as a Sports Medicine physician and avid cyclist) may help me be of assistance as you prepare your mind, body and soul for Obliteride.

Let’s start by thinking about a few important items relating to your preparation for Obliteride:

1.  Make sure you’re in good health. Before beginning a new training regimen or any new type of exercise, consult with your personal physician for a review of your health. This includes reviewing any history of medical problems that run in your family, having your blood pressure checked, reviewing any personal risk of heart disease, and discussing the potential need of checking your cholesterol. Once you know all of these items are squared away, you’re ready to start conditioning your body for this event!

2.  Get to know your bike. Most of the common musculoskeletal problems experienced by novice riders relate to their position on a bicycle. So have a professional check your position. Many bicycle shops would be happy to provide a basic assessment of your fit and position on the bike. There are also numerous options for having a very focused bicycle fit performed by seasoned cyclists.  Feel free to email me if you need some suggestions.

3.  Flexibility and core strengthening. Abdominal strength is an absolute necessity for maintaining stability as you ride your bike for hours at a time. Strong core muscles also help provide support to the lower back. Lumbar and hamstring flexibility are other key areas that can suffer in cyclists of all levels of experience. Yoga and daily stretching are ways to work on these issues.

4“Open” the leg muscles.  Get your legs turning the pedals 15-20 minutes, four to five days a week at this point to start developing a base that will serve you well when Obliteride comes around in August.  If you can’t get outside, there are many models of “indoor trainers” (a device that hooks up to your bicycle, allowing you to ride indoors) that enable your body to get used to riding your own bike indoors. Your local bike shop is a great place to shop for indoor trainers. A spin class is another option, but make sure you take it slow and steady.

If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jaybray1@yahoo.com.

Good luck and I’ll be back in a few weeks with more training tips and tricks.

About Dr. Jason Brayley

Dr. Brayley is an avid cyclist and team physician for Kenda/5 Hour Energy Pro Cycling presented by GearGrinder, a professional cycling team that competes throughout the U.S. He’s a Sports Medicine physician treating athletes of all ages and abilities.

The legal stuff: The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 

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