Team WattCycle – June 2015

Team WattCycle

The racing season is in full swing and the Team WattCycle men and women are going great guns! As proud sponsors of such a dynamic team of cyclists, here are a few of our highlights of the last couple of months.

April

April saw Jenn Batey and Ellen McDermott make their National Series debut in the two-day Tour of the Reservoir in County Durham, competing against elite pro’s from many major teams, Chris Sleath finish a fantastic 4th in the Tour of Northumberland cat. 3 race, Paul Dixon and James Wilson on the podium in the CD NE Evening Series, Rob Wallace secure what would be the first of many podium finishes in an under-16 race, and the Team have 5 top 20 finishers in a large field for the 90k Phillip Russell Memorial Road Race in Middlesbrough. The month ended with Ellen McDermott’s sprint for 2nd in the Activcity Edinburgh Ingliston Crit to secure her cat. 2 rider status.

Team WattCycle

Ellen & Jenn – Tour of the Reservoir

Team WattCycle

Chris Sleath – Tour of Northumberland (pic: Iain Robertson)

 

Duathlon

Aside from road racing, Hazel Wright donned a GB age group tri suit for the first time to compete at the European Duathlon Championships (sprint distance), Nikki Parker-Bell put in a great performance at the Stockton Duathlon, and Anna Weaver won her Duathlon to qualify for the GB Age Group Team for the World Championships later this year in Australia.

May

May started with Women’s Team Manager Karen Poole and Anna Weaver racing in the Tour De Yorkshire amongst a large international field.

As the month progressed there were podium finishes for several WattCycle riders, including Chris Tidd, Robert Wallace, James Wilson and Paul Dixon.

Ellen McDermott rode alongside some top international riders in the televised Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the biggest circuit race series in the UK.

Angela Hibbs won her third race of the season in the NE Championship Series, with Karen Poole in 2nd place, and Nikki Metcalfe and Hazel Wright in the top 10.

Team WattCycle, Body Matters

Angela Hibbs & Karen Poole on the podium again!

Team WattCycle, Body Matters

Hannah Farran, winner, Northumberland Triathlon

Towards the end of May, Karen and Nikki secured top 10 positions in the National Masters Championships. Hannah Farran put in an amazing performance to take 2nd place at the Nottingham Triathlon. Karen put in another strong attacking performance at the Doncaster Crit, taking 5th. Pam Greer secured 1st place in a 25m TT, and Angela won a 10m TT with another PB for the season.

June started in similarly impressive style with Hanna winning the Northumberland Triathlon, Karen racing strongly in the Tour of Cambridgeshire to qualify for the World Masters Championships, and Ellen riding in Bradley Wiggins’s support races at the Olympic Velodrome when he secured the One Hour world record!!!

Keep up to date with the Team through the summer via their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, and we’ll post another update here as the season progresses.

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Yoga For Sport: Bend It Like… Wiggins!

DSC00629_Wiggins

If you enjoy playing sport at any level, then I truly believe that yoga has something to offer you.

After the widely publicised inclusion of yoga into their regular training regime by the likes of Ryan Giggs (professional footballer, Manchester United and Wales), Andy Murray (professional tennis player, former Wimbledon champion and Olympic gold medallist) and Bradley Wiggins (professional cyclist, 2012 Tour de France winner), along with a host of other elite-level athletes, many of the yoga sceptics have been silenced.

And it’s not just a few individual sports men and women who have adopted the practice. World-class coaches and managers of football teams such as the 2014 Premiership Champions, Manchester City, and recent high-fliers Southampton FC and West Ham United have all seen fit to introduce yoga to their players, as have those working with the likes of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby union team and various Olympic coaches in disciplines ranging from swimming to weightlifting.

So what are the benefits to us mere mortals who perhaps enjoy a weekly game of tennis, a regular round of golf or a session of mountain biking or road cycling?

For many of us, the key advantages of incorporating some regular yoga into our general wellbeing regime include:

  • Optimized movement and increased flexibility
  • Increased core strength/stability
  • Improved posture
  • Better relaxation strategies
  • Increased protection from injury
  • Improved breath control
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Sharper focus

No-one will promise that yoga can transform you from a keen amateur or enthusiastic club competitor into a world beater, but it will increase your chances of staying fitter for longer, avoiding some of those niggling aches and pains, and recovering from minor injuries a little bit faster. And with the increased flexibility and core stability that yoga brings, you have every chance of improving your overall performance level in whatever sport you enjoy.

Chrissie Tarbitt, Cyclist's Lunge

Cyclist’s Lunge

The use of breathing techniques in yoga also helps us make that all-important mind/body connection; when we’re in the flow of our yoga postures, we use the breath to keep us focused, offering instant access to the “rest and digest” part of our autonomic nervous system. The more relaxed and focused we are on the mat, the more energy we conserve for the times when we really need it off the mat!

Back to Ryan Giggs: “My body feels so much better having done the yoga … I still get the odd hamstring strain, which you are going to get playing football, but it wasn’t about curing the problem, but making it less frequent. I wish I had done it from the start of my career.”

Over the coming months here at the Integrated Wellbeing site, we’ll take a look at some specific postures and series that can help those of you playing a particular sport enjoy it just that little bit more. And as we’re one of the main 2015 sponsors of current North East champions, the Team WattCycle road-cycling team, cycling is likely to be near the top of that list!

I currently teach two yoga classes each week at the Ocean Physio and Rehab Clinic at Woodbury near Exeter. The Ocean team has experience of working with those suffering from various sporting injuries, including members of the Exeter Chiefs rugby union team, the English golf team and the Devon cricket team, as well as a number of elite-level sports men and women and Olympic competitors. More information about my current class schedule and the Ocean team’s expertise can be found at www.oceanphysio.com.

I believe that incorporating a regular yoga practice into your schedule can increase both your enjoyment of your favourite sports and your level of performance.

And for those of you who are interested in exploring the role of yoga in sport more deeply, there are now numerous yoga teachers across the UK (and the rest of the world) who offer expertise via classes and courses specifically aimed at sports people. Head over to Google now to find a class in your area, and let me know in the comments section below how you get on!

Oh, and guys, in case you hadn’t realised, this one is definitely for you too. I’m seeing more and more men turning up to classes and they all come back for more ☺. So, if in doubt, banish thoughts of lycra and getting yourself stuck in some pretzel shape and find a class and teacher that suit you.

With love and wellbeing wishes,
chrissie-signiture