YOUR QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS
Q Can exercise cause varicose veins?
A No – in fact, it’s almost the opposite. The more you exercise, the bigger your veins get because they must return blood back to heart, so the more you exercise the healthier the veins are.
Without getting too scientific, the faster the blood flows up a vein, the more ‘shear stress’ there is on the wall and the more the cells in the vein wall secrete a substance called nitric oxide. This chemical keeps the vein wall very healthy.
Q When should you use a massage gun?
A You can use a massage gun as part of a warm-up to increase blood circulation and as part of an ongoing attempt to help improve flexibility.
It can also be used in the hours and days post-exercise to help reduce DOMS, increase flexibility and improve circulation.
Q Any quick tips to beat pre-race nerves?
A The answer is selftalk. This is an attentional strategy to dampen those pre-race nerves. All of us do this to some extent, whether it’s via a mental Tannoy or a whisper.
It’s been suggested that inner dialogue or self-talk that occurs during exercise is the competition between psychological drives and the physiological homeostatic mechanisms that put the brakes on.
You have one inner voice encouraging you to continue pedalling and another urging you to slow down or terminate the session.
The idea is that controlling your selftalk manages this dialogue. When it comes to self-talk, saying is believing.
Q How often should I train on aerobars?
A Whether you’re using clip-ons or have a dedicated TT setup, the most important thing about using aerobars is that you train on
them. This doesn’t mean a few sessions with your bike bolted to a turbo. We’re talking out on real roads and regularly.
Not only will this allow you to assess your position and give your body plenty of time to adapt to it, it’ll also allow you to become 100% confident and comfortable when down on them. Especially for longcourse racers, the more time you can spend in a race in your aero position the better. Every time you come up off your aerobars, unless it’s a climb or tight corner, you’re losing speed and time.
You should be able to drink and feed yourself while still on your aerobars, take sweeping bends and even descend, feathering the brakes when necessary with one hand. If you’re unable to perform these skills or find yourself having to sit up for extended periods on the bike leg, you’re either lacking technique, your set-up isn’t right for you or possibly a combination of both.
What’s Jeffing? Jeffing refers to the run/walk coaching technique founded by 10km Olympian Jeff Galloway in 1973. It’s a run-walk technique similar to intervals or ‘fartlek’ (the Swedish word for ‘speedplay’) training. By reducing the amount of running and combining it with walking, you put less stress on the body and can cover longer distances.