Unite and Bike for Heroes

Unite and Bike for Heroes

Just under a year ago, I decided to enter this event to commemorate the Centenary of the start of the Great War. As you will know, if you have followed my blog, I was fortunate enough to serve with the Royal Engineers for a number of years until being medically discharged in 1997. A large number of my friends and colleagues have been impacted by loss in conflict and I have lost several friends and this seemed a fitting tribute to their memories. I had also recently been bitten by the cycling bug so it was a perfect fit. I also decided to dedicate the year to raising funds and awareness for Blind Veterans UK and you can read more about their work and my motivations elsewhere in this blog. I have had a superb year and have achieved a number of firsts (for me) with several highs (and a couple of hiccoughs) and have made many new friends along the way. I have had wonderful support and met many inspirational folk, so was very excited as we approached this ‘final’ event in August. However, I had not appreciated just how emotional the trip would be and what a superb end to the years fund raising. And so it began – Stratford Intl to Folkestone – High speed train The trip to Folkestone by train was unremarkable, as were my first impressions of the town when I arrived. Folkestone was gearing up for a big centenary parade on the 4th, with Prince Harry in attendance and there were bands rehearsing and police cordoning the front off, so I just...
Power taping brings great results for Chris

Power taping brings great results for Chris

Chris Stirling was spotted at the recent Celtman! Extreme Scottish Triathlon sporting long strips of the Union Jack patterned RockTape. Clearly it did this endurance athlete a world of good as he came in second in the epic multi-sport event. Chris, who crossed the line in a hugely respectable 12 hrs 3 mins and 6 seconds, is photographed here by Steve Carter sporting the RockTape on his arms and shoulders. The 32-year-old, who hails from Ambleside in the Lake District, is a great believer in RockTape. He says: “I use RockTape to support the chains of movement and use of different muscle groups as I move between the three sports or triathlon. “I find that my muscles tire less quickly when using RockTape and it is easier to hold good form. “For example, when switching from bike to run, you go from being bent double for six hours to wanting to run nice and upright. The stretch of the tape reminds me not to lean forward too much and to pull my shoulders back.” Chris confesses that he is not a great swimmer. With the help of his physio Adam Smith he tried taping for power in the swim stroke. Chris says: “I swam much better than I thought I would with the help of the RockTape. I tested it in a couple of training sessions and another event prior to the Celtman! “The extra one to two per cent that it gives makes all the difference when you are trying to perform at your limit. I was pleased with how I performed in my weakest discipline in the...
Preventing Common Cycling Injuries

Preventing Common Cycling Injuries

As one of the team sponsors of Team Garmin Sharp, ROCKTAPE, have had their fair share of experience working with cycling injuries, whether on the Tour de France, at local triathlons or at the UK National Mountain Bike Championship. Cyclo asked Daniel Lawrence, ROCKTAPE’s Education Director, to talk us through some of the most common cycling injuries, how they come about, and what you can do to treat and avoid them… Cycling injuries are usually not too severe and can be easily treated; however they can become commonplace if you do not take the correct precautions. Many of the injuries that I see amongst cyclists tend to be overuse injuries through regular repetitive movements, or postural injuries, the result of an improper riding position or posture on the bike. Points of contact cycling injuries are one of the most common things that I see with cyclists. Take, for example, where the cleats make contact with the pedal, usually via a clipless pedal system. If your cleats are not properly positioned at the correct angle, your will end up with shooting pains in your knees that will simply continue to grow until corrected. One of the simplest ways to remedy this is to correctly set up your clipless pedal system. It might take a bit of fiddling about and adjusting to get your shoe position correct but it will help ensure your feet are always in the correct position and also help you to generate more power easily too. If you haven’t invested in a clipless pedal system, than it is definitely something that I would recommend. Another incredibly common...
The Emily Sarsfield Ski Cross Camp

The Emily Sarsfield Ski Cross Camp

A brand new Ski Cross camp open for you to try the new exciting discipline of ski cross. ROCKSTAR Emily will be hosting her 1st exclusive ski cross training camp in Les Deux Alps this summer to see if you have what it takes. Emily Sarsfield is Britain’s No.1 Ski Cross athlete 7 x British Champion and competing on the World Cup tour. Previously an alpine ski racer, Emily switched to ski cross in 2006 and never looked back. With a sports science degree, qualified ski instructor and coach Emily is more than an athlete she loves working out the details of what it takes to be the best, and wants to share this with you. Ski Cross is the ultimate downhill ski race with 4 skiers, racing head to head over jumps, rollers and banked turns. This camp will give you an insight into ski cross, introduce you to the skills needed and  improve your skiing technique. Alongside the skiing the camp offers World class ski fitness (including ROCKTAPE applications!!) and nutritional advice from Emily’s World Cup fitness coach and nutritionalist. Giving you an intro to ski cross with a world class background. The camp will be set in one of European best glaciers in Les Duex Alps, France. World class coaching will be given daily on ski technique, starts, jumping, rollers and all things ski cross, looking at tactics along with technique to get you out in front. The afternoons will be packed with fitness and fun activities in the amazing mountains and video analysis. Accommodation is provided with full board athlete nutrition. Who’s it for? …...
IASTM – why we are so excited about it!

IASTM – why we are so excited about it!

http://www.rocktape.co.uk/the-rocktape-blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Thoracic%20Rotation.mp4 Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation or IASTM, is a relatively new method of soft tissue mobilisation that originated in the US in the mid 90’s. It has however got links to more ancient forms of treatment such as Gua Sha which has been around for centuries. The techniques has become popular because it delivers quick results, with improving range of motion, improving movement quality and decreasing pain. And it does this within a few minutes. Originally,  IASTM was developed as a hand saver for doing treatments such as deep transverse friction massage, breaking down scar tissue and promoting healing in the treated region. Whether this actually occurs with IASTM is still up for debate, there are some preliminary studies that shows some encouraging signs that it may augment the healing process however the jury is still out. When I do my treatments I am gradually using less and less pressure and still having the same awesome results from it. With the light pressure that I use it is unlikely that I am actually penetrating deep enough into the tissues to cause a a mechanical effect and setting up an inflammatory reaction. A more likely source of the improvement is through affecting the peripheral and central nervous system. By stimulating the mechanoreceptors and nerve endings in the skin and possibly in the superficial fascia, it is possible to cause a reduction in muscle tone and ‘release’ restrictions we can feel with our IASTM tools. Let me clarify this a little as I am not certain that we actually feel ‘restrictions’ , however, when we assess the soft tissues with...

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