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...

ROCKTAPE ‘Best Accessory’ winners at 2014 Running Awards

We are very proud to announce that ROCKTAPE has won in the ‘Best Accessory’ category at the 2014 Running Awards. Watch a video of us accepting the award below: The full list of winners on the night can be seen below: Small Retailer 1st Absolute Running 2nd Run and Become 3rd Runners World Large Retailer 1st Sweatshop 2nd Runners Need 3rd Asics Etailer 1st Sweatshop 2nd Wiggle 3rd Sports Shoes Accessory 1st Rocktape UK 2nd Workplay “Fleetfoot II” women’s fit running bag 3rd Body Glide anti-chafe Clothing – Women 1st Nike 2nd Ashmei 3rd Shock Absorber Clothing – Men 1st Ashmei 2nd Nike 3rd Adidas Shoe – Women 1st Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 2nd Brooks Ghost 6 3rd Asics Gel Nimbus 14 Shoe – Men 1st Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 2nd Inov8 X-Talon 212 3rd Asics Gel-Kayano 19 Gadget – GPS 1st Garmin Forerunner 10 2nd Garmin Forerunner 610 3rd Garmin Forerunner GPS Watch 910XT Gadget – non GPS 1st AfterShokz M2 Open Ear Sport Headphones 2nd Yurbuds Inspire Pro Earphones 3rd Mio Alpha HRM App 1st Strava Run GPS Running Tracker 2nd mapmyrun 3rd Nike+ Running App Magazine 1st Runner’s World 2nd Obstacle Race Magazine 3rd Women’s Running Book 1st Can’t swim can’t ride can’t run 2nd Fat Man to Green Man 3rd The Joy of Running Blog 1st Veggie Runners 2nd Lunges and Lycra 3rd Dreaming of Footpaths Website 1st Run Mummy Run 2nd Runner’s World 3rd Mudstacle Podcast 1st Marathon Talk 2nd The parkrun show 3rd Talk Ultra Fun Run 1st Nos Galan 5k 2nd Liverpool Santa Dash 3rd Gosport Golden Mile 10k 1st Southport Mad...
Skiing With Heroes

Skiing With Heroes

Rachel Dickens, of www.englishosteopath.com, recently told Rocktape about her work with Skiing with Heroes. I work in Monaco and southern France, where, when not busy with our two clinics, I run the medical support team for ‘Skiing with Heroes’.  A UK-based charity run solely by volunteers, Skiing with Heroes takes injured British ex-soldiers skiing and also offers the support and mentoring they need to secure careers once back in the civilian world. Due to the extent of their injuries, all our skiers will have had hundreds of hours of physio from NHS or Armed Forces therapists.  Excellent as those services are, it does mean the guys will never have seen Rocktape, so, this year, I asked Rocktape if they could give me some to trial on our wounded soldiers. Luckily for us, they did, and the difference it made was significant. Our skiers have many different types of war injuries, of which the most frequent are caused by: IED’s (Improvised Explosive Device) or homemade bombs, usually wired together in a ‘daisy chain’ for maximum devastation:  these, if they haven’t killed you, will take off a leg or two.  If you are lucky enough to not be hit directly, the blast can remove muscles from your legs, thighs, chest and/or arms. RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade):  designed as an anti-tank weapon, these were popular in Iraq.  Many of our skiers have survived direct hits from these.  The survivors’ injuries are severe and I’ve seen entire muscle groups and nerves, tendons and bones completely obliterated.  One of our young skiers had both eyes blown out by one of these weapons. Gunshot wounds: ...
Laura Faulkner Interview

Laura Faulkner Interview

Sport: Crossfit Occupation: HR Assistant at Bath Spa University Age: 21 Height: 157cm Weight: 50kg What inspired you to take up Crossfit? I first started Crossfit with the intention to get fit. This has obviously then spiralled completely out of control! BUT something really clicked between myself and the sport. It was exciting and left me feeling completely lifeless afterwards but full of achievement. My training from when I first began Crossfit has completely changed, I started just by participating in the classes run by Crossfit Bath which is where my learning curve began. These classes are second to none and I would not be where I am now without the coaches, classes and Crossfit Bath itself. I have a lot to thank them for. Whereas now I am on an individual training programme, programmed by Ollie Mansbridge which gives me more focus and drive towards goals. It focuses more on my weakness and increasing and maintaining my strength. Please describe a typical week’s training? A typical week of training would include 5 days on, 1 active recovery day and a rest day. These training session would normally be about 2 hours long as I have to fit in my training after the working day!! Here is a glance at yesterday’s training: As Crossfit covers such a wide variety of movements my training is always so varied but here is an example of yesterday’s programming… My Warm up would include a light row/run and then something like Handstand walks to get moving. •    On the minute for every minute: 2 x Clean + 1 Jerk – Build Heavy, start approx 70% of max...
Up Close with GB Heptathlete Devon Byrne

Up Close with GB Heptathlete Devon Byrne

Sport: Heptathlon (100m Hurdles, High jump, Shot putt, 200m, Long jump, Javelin & 800m) Occupation: Mathematical Sciences Student @ Loughborough University Age: 20 Height: 1.74m Weight:  63kg What inspired you to take up Heptathlon? I’ve always dabbled in many sports, playing netball and hockey up to regional standard. When I was younger I also did triathlon, which I loved, but as the distances increased as I got older I figured it wasn’t for me. Now the furthest I have to run is 800m- result! My mother was a GB triathlete so I figured I had to go one better and take up heptathlon which entails seven events as opposed to three. Please describe a typical week’s training? This varies week on week depending on what time of the year it is, whether I have a competition at the weekend or often just down to how I feel. For example, at times when University work is particularly heavy I will have a slightly easier week. An average training week is usually 20+ hours, with additional time spent with massage, physios, podiatrists you name it. Here is a glance at last weeks training: Monday- Shot, Hurdles, Weights Tuesday- High jump, sprints session e.g. 4x 60m, 3x 90m, 2x 120m Wednesday- Hurdles, Javelin, aqua jogging or swim recovery Thursday- Shot, Long jump, 800m based running session e.g Split 800 (600/200) with 60 second recovery Friday- Weights, Yoga Saturday- 400m based running session e.g. 3x 300m , Javelin Sunday- Rest day often spent sleeping and eating Rest and recovery is crucial but not something I often enjoy doing, I like to be busy...
Food as Fuel…Preparing for the London Marathon

Food as Fuel…Preparing for the London Marathon

The London Marathon is just 2 weeks away. These 2 weeks are crucial for putting all the right fuel into all the right places, priming the machine that is your body for that 26-mile run. We take a look at the essentials… Make sense of carbohydrates Carbohydrates are essential to any endurance training programme, but it is equally essential to understand how to use them. If you have the time before a run (approx 2 hours), eating a meal containing low-GL carbohydrates gives your body the time to convert that meal into usable energy. Consider oatmeal or whole grain toast with nut butter or scrambled eggs. If you don’t have the luxury of time before a run, higher-GL carbohydrates come into play, providing a quicker fuel source. 30 minutes before training opt for a smoothie, white rice or white pasta. On a long run (1hr+) you’ll also need easily digestible, high-carb foods to take in during activity, such as energy gels or sports drinks. Know when you are insulin sensitive Your body will stay at its most insulin-sensitive for about 30 minutes after training, meaning your cells will be most responsive to the uptake of glucose during this time. High-GL carbs have a role to play here, as they help start the re-saturation process of your liver and muscle glucose stores (glycogen). Pump up the protein. Protein is essential for the repair of muscles and tendons after all that impact. Consume high-quality, lean, grass-fed animal sources. Protein powders can be used pre and post training without lowering the GL of your meals. Factor in fats Omega 3 fatty acids...