Wobbly Knees..? Help is at Hand

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

We’re often ask by clients interested in our bike fitting services if we use “wedges”. Firstly, for the uninitiated here’s a brief introduction into the world of cleat and forefoot wedging…

The majority of people (whether they ride bikes or not) suffer (that’s not really the correct word as for the majority of those same people it’ll never cause them a problem) from a condition called “forefoot varus tilt”. Sounds scary, but all that it means is that when the foot is in an unloaded relaxed, neutral position the forefoot will tilt more away from the centre line of the body (varus) than the heal. This tilt is often blamed for poor knee tracking in cases where the knee inwardly rotates towards the centre line of the bike during the power phase of the pedal stroke. In my experience as a fitter, poor knee trace is often associated with poor muscle function rather than any particular problem in the foot. In this article I’ll present some simple strength work each cyclist can do to improve their knee stability and hence performance on the bike


Big Weekend for Team Bike Science Planet-X at the National Relays

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

This weekend saw Team Bike Science – Planet X prove that our long distance boys and girls can still go FAST over the short stuff too. If you’ve never competed at the National Triathlon Relay champs at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham, then you’re missing out. The weekend always brings some fast fun and top class racing and this year proved to be no exception.

Team Bike Science- Planet X entered teams in both the mixed and mens events. Racing started on Saturday morning with the mixed event. We knew we had a super strong team for this one with Ironman Lanzarote top 10 finisher and biking powerhouse Lisa Greenfield, Sub 9 hour Ironman Jules Hatcher, European elite long distance medalist Alice Hector and the team’s resident short distance specialist (and team manager) Paul Horsfall.

The team exited 2nd from the swim, powered into the lead on the bike and almost hung on for the win in a nail biting finish with strong runners Team Blue Seventy TFN bringing it home in 1st place by less than 40 seconds. Stunning stuff!

The mens event kicked off early on Sunday with our team being a bit of an unknown quantity. Hywel Davies just back from a brilliant win at the European long distance age group champs, Ironman veteran Mark White using the event as a sharpener in his build up to the upcoming Challenge Henley Ironman distance event, Elite duathlete Oli Mott and Paul Horsfall stepping in AGAIN as a last minute replacement for our resident army boy Edd Charlton Weedy, who’d done a mystery disappearing act muttering something about “top secret” and “If I told you, I’d have to shoot you”.

With Hywel’s legs still heavy and his back crocked after the Europeans, Mark in mid Ironman build up, Paul “a little sore” from the previous days efforts and Oli admitting at the twelfth hour that he didn’t really know how to swim, we weren’t holding out for a runaway victory, but these boys are racers, and race they did!

Exiting from the water in 16th place, the team let loose on the bike to haul themselves up to 6th position by the time the first runners hit the tarmac. The team chased hard throughout the run leg and managed to pull up another two places, just missing out on a podium slot by 1 minute after Oli (who we knew could run a bit) putting in a stunning 16 minute final 5k.

All in all, a great weekend, with great racing. We’ll be back next year with an even stronger team gunning for more podium spots. See you there!

Meet the Team :: Daz Carter

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Meet the latest team member, double ironman finishing, sub 9 hour Ironman Darryl “Daz” Carter. He’s gunning for a slot at Hawaii at next weekends Ironman UK in Bolton. Here’s Daz in his own words…

I’ve spent the last three years as a triathlon coach, personal trainer and ‘part-time’ long-distance triathlete, having previous worked for 10 years in the Civil Service. I have raced for the GB age-group team, and have completed ten Ironman-distance and one double-ironman distance triathlons. My current Ironman PB is 8:57 but I would love to keep chipping away and get down to 8:45. I have considered entering a Deca-Ironman, but then slapped myself out of it!
I also enjoy the challenge of ultra-distance off-road running. Having failed to complete the Offas Dyke Trail (178miles) non-stop on a whim, I decided to take it a little more seriously over the last 12 months and start working my way up through the distances. I have so far completed two ultra trail races of 45 and 55miles and came 2nd and 1st in them respectively. I have entered my first 100mile trail run in October.

Physiotherapy and Sports Massage :: Available Now at Bike Science Bristol

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

At Bike Science we like to look at every aspect of rider performance, from perfectly fitted bikes, the very best equipment and now at Bike Science Bristol, physiotherapy and sports massage services aimed specifically at cyclists.

Meet Scott Cornish, our new physiotherapist. As well as being a chartered physiotherapist and highly experienced sports masseur, Scott’s also an experienced competitive stage racing endurance mountain biker. He knows bodies and he knows bikes.

Whether you’re suffering with a long term injury or use sports massage as a weekly part of your recovery strategy, book a treatment session online NOW. Physio and massage appointments are currently available on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings at Bike Science Bristol.


Meet the Team :: Alice Hector

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Meet Alice. Team Bike Science’s dark horse for a podium slot at the national relays? Maybe, if we can convince her to come back to racing triathlon!! Here’s Alice in her own words, plus a race report from her crack at the recent Cardiff 50 Mile Ultra run…

Former pro triathlete and European Long Distance elite medallist 2007, with 16 national championship medals in multisport events, I’ve taken a step back since then but still have completed an Ironman (6th pro IMUK 08), and won every local multi-sport race I’ve entered since (opening myself up for a fall here!) When I do triathlon now it is just for the feel-good factor but I do like to do well too!

Recently I have switched to ultra marathon running and won my first 50k race by 45 mins and won my first 50 miler in May this year, with no specific preparation.

My aim is to qualify for the GB team and compete and do well in the 100k Worlds in the next few years. Cycling and triathlon events will help along the way as they’re lower impact so I can develop my aerobic efficiency and muscle conditioning without damage.

Cardiff Ultra 50 mile Race Report

I entered the race on a bit of a whim, as I was bored one night and was browsing on the internet thinking I hadn’t achieved anything for a while. I saw this and thought ‘hmmm, could I?’ and then the fateful seed was planted. I had done 40-60 minute runs a few times a week for the past 6 months but nothing specific. It would be an interesting experiment to see how far I could get without having been meticulous. I entered the next day, 3 weeks before the event. That gave me 1 week of training before a 2 week taper! So I did a 2 hr run, then a 2hrs 30 run and a 3 hr 20 effort at the weekend. 2 hours was fine but 3 hr 20 was a struggle!

Then it was a case of not doing much for 2 weeks, just ticking. You can’t gain fitness in the 2 weeks before a race but you can tune up so I kept running frequently but just for a few minutes at a time.

I knew it was just a case of good self-management. I didn’t have the best fitness but I did have muscle memory and I did have good knowledge of race nutrition, so it was just a case of controlling the controllables and seeing how my legs/stomach held up. So long as nothing was too bad I would make it to the line.

During the race, after 2 hrs my legs started to go a bit. The thought of running for another 6 hours on tired legs kind of scared me, but the sadist inside me was like ‘Bring it!’ It was 20 miles further than I had ever run before which was a daunting prospect if I stopped to think about it, so best not to. It was just about all on tarmac too, and as a rule I don’t run more than an hour on tarmac as I find it so unforgiving. I knew I would be ok so long as I didn’t cramp, which of course is highly debilitating. The pain I could cope with but you can’t work with spasming stumps, so it was just a case of taking enough water and salt and hoping that that wouldn’t happen.

As it turned out, nothing really happened! My legs got really sore, sorer than I have ever experience by a long shot, but I just kept eating and plodding and picking off people who had failed to eat/drink enough. Women had been around me up to the 2 hour mark but me being me got competitive and decided I wanted to be in front so I ran off! It changed very quickly from just wanting to complete the distance to actually wanting to compete. I would have been far less happy had I come in 2nd.

At mile 43 I went wrong and ended up doing an extra mile. I slipped from 5th overall (out of the men) to 7th, which was disappointing, but hardly surprising; I normally do things like that. An extra hilly mile at that stage did have be throwing my toys just a little bit!

In hindsight I was too scared and held back too much, and with a bit more prep I know I can definitely push harder. All that was lacking was the leg strength: the ability to withstand muscular fatigue. Energy levels were fine throughout as was mindset. It was actually far easier than I anticipated. Less than half a day’s effort and I’ve achieved something really cool!

So after a good month of easy running I’m just about fully recovered and will look to do another ultra later in the year. I love the simplicity of ultra compared to tri. You just run. I like that :)

Meet the Team :: Julian Hatcher

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Jules is now officially Bristol’s fastest policeman with a stunning sub 9 hour debut at last weekend’s Ironman Austria. Jules has no real weakness, with a strong swim, stronger bike and awesome running ability. Read more about Jules and his Ironman Austria race report in his own words…

Ironman Austria 2011 race report

My first attempt at ‘going long’ was a bit of a step into the unknown. I knew I had put the training hours in but I had never swum, cycled or run the distances individually and I had certainly never done then all in one go! I defiantly had targets going into the race but as the race approached nerves meant I put them to one side and decided I just wanted to finish.

Overall I was really chuffed with the result and pretty much nailed my goals of getting out of T1 in less than an hour, cycling the course in less than 5 and running a sub 3 marathon. With a couple of solid transitions this meant I finished in 8:55. Ultimately meaning I achieved my target of completing my first Ironman in less than 9 hours. Job done!

Rider Profile

History: I come from a running background having competed at 800 / 1500M on a national level as a youngster. I forgot about sport for a few years while I enjoyed a couple of post uni years in summer / winter holiday resorts living the life of a ski bum. I got back into sport when my other half said she fancied giving Triathlon a go. I joined her in 2004 for a crack at the Malvern sprint Tri. I did the swim in run shorts, I put my goggles upside down (they filled with water) and drank way too much on the bike, which gave me a stitch on the run. Obviously I loved it and have completed mainly in Olympic distance events since then. With a bit of hard work I have been fortunate to achieve some 1/2 decent results, these include;

Royal Windsor Tri 1st
London Tri 1st
European Age Group Champs 1st
Helvellyn Tri 1st
Bala Middle Distance (3rd and 2nd)
IM Austria 8:55

Aims for 2012

I am at a bit of a cross roads having just completed my main A race of the season. However I am sure, much to the annoyance of my long suffering wife I will come up with another crazy race to go for. Alpe, d’ huez Tri, could be the go?

Meet the Team :: Mark White

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Mark White seems to have been involved in Ironman Triathlon since the beginnings of the sport in the UK. With multiple fast finishes across the world, including the hallowed Hawaii Ironman, Mark proves year after year, he’s one of the most consistent and fastest age group athletes in the country. Here’s some words from Mark…

More aims: Qualify for Kona @ IM Lanzarote 2012 & beat 4 hours for the 100 mile TT.

Personnel info,
Ex Royal Marine, from 1987 – 1992……Joined the fire service in 1993, been in for 19 years, now a crew manager…Been racing triathlons sine 1984…Was a member of the original British junior squad in 1984 after finishing 3rd at the British junior champs.. Raced Elite at British grand prix series from 1995-2000..Best results where 5th overall at Bournmouth (1hr 57 mins) 8th overall @ Shropshire 1hr 56 mins, 6th overall @ Milton Keynes 1hr 57, and 9th overall at the Ironbridge Long course (british long course champs)

First Ironman 2002 @ Lanzarote, 90th, 2nd Ironman 2003 @ Lanzarote, 65th missed Kona by 10 seconds.

Since then I’ve raced 15 Ironmans to date. loads of 70.3. Best results include : 9hrs 06 mins – 2nd overall @ The longest day, I actually beat Scott Nyedlli by 10 mins!!!! 3rd and 6th overall @ Vitruvian 2004, 2005, 5th and 6th overall at Bala, 2005, 2007…Raced Kona 2005 9hrs 24 mins.

Twice qualified for Kona at IM Florida & IM UK…5 times @ Roth…

Master coach for Trainingbible UK, one of my athletes finished in 8hrs 59 mins on Sunday @ IM Austria, he ran a 2.55 marathon!!!!!

Meet the Team :: Lanza Age Group Champ Lisa Greenfield

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
Cycling powerhouse Lisa Greenfield sent shows potential to become one of the best bikers in triathlon. A top ten finish (overall) and win in her age group at this years Lanzarote Ironman earned her a coveted place at the World Ironman champs in Hawaii this October. Some words from Lisa…
Well what can I say about me…..
Firstly I begged for a spot on the team so that I could stop going to the gym to get a six pack and just throw on the team kit instead.
A brief history…
I stumbled on triathlon after years of picking up injuries training for marathons and quickly realised that I was actually rubbish at running and much better on the bike. After a couple of years of Olympic distance racing, and a couple of bronze medals in the age group world and Euro champs
along the way I edged over to the wrong side of 35 and quickly realised that my top and speed was diminishing but I could go on forever!
I took a flyer on the Iron Man distance event and managed to be the 1st non pro female home at the inaugural Challenge Barcelona event. Lanzarote Iron Man was my race for this season and thanks to time spent chasing the other Bike Science boys and gal around the Pyrenees in training I managed to book myself a slot to Kona in October. After which I will retire from sport! Alternatively if I have anything left to give i’ll spend 3 months hitting the red wine to build up my greatly reduced tolerance for alcohol (it’s all about conditioning) and then book myself for lots of fun hilly stuff for next season.
A bit more stuff…
  • My idol is my team mate Ruth Bradbrook and in the “dark times” in long distance events my mantra is “what would Ruthie B do” which gets me through every time.
  • I love nothing more than running after my mad white boxer through the Cotswold country lanes where I live at 5am on a crisp sunny morning.
  • I believe life is about balance and I only train so I can eat and drink lots of lovely stuff and I could never do this for a living – it wouldn’t be fun anymore
  • I know nothing about bikes and how they operate but I also seem to find ones that go really fast, almost by magic.
  • I like beating boys and Pro’s
  • I hate being injured and having to take time off to recover
  • I believe that Troy Jacobson (the coach off of the Spinervals DVD’s) is my coach and close personal friend (I know I need to leave the house more in the winter!!)

Meet the Team :: Phil “The Power” Richards

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Don’t mistake Phil’s diminutive size for a lack of full on racing grit. Meet Bike Science – Planet X team member Phil Richards. With an age group win at Lanzarote Ironman in 2010 and a finish at the Hawaii Ironman in Kona to her name, Phil’s gunning for a top finish at this year’s 70.3 Worlds in Las Vegas.

Sporting CV to date:
1992-2004 – played rugby up to county level – at 5′1 was regularly bounced, gave me a good grounding in pain and suffering
2005 – Comrades ultra-marathon South Africa – 10th female novice in 8hr 21, painful, like properly painful
2006 – learnt to swim so I could do IMUK, wasn’t last out of the water and didn’t drown, was chuffed
2007 – Challenge Roth – awful, no further detail necessary
2009 – IM Austria – 10.55, terrible run, realised proper training was necessary as was owning a decent bike
- Helvellyn tri – 5th overall
2010 – IM Lanzarote – 1st in AG, one of favourite races to date
- IM Hawaii – had lost my mojo and couldn’t really be bothered. Was beaten out of the water by a man with one arm (I’m not even sure he had legs), and blown off the road twice on the bike, but was first Brit in AG
2011 – Mallorca 70.3 – missed out on win by 1min 47 but got a slot for Vegas anyway…will keep you posted…

Meet the Team :: “Small” Paul Horsfall

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Almost the smallest male triathlete on the planet, Paul’s power to weight ratio matches that of a flea allowing him to leap tall buildings in a single bound and ride up hills like they aren’t there. Improved biking in the last 12 months along with a rumored step up to long distance racing on the cards means Paul is one to watch for 2011.

Paul Horsfall is a (questionably) Elite Triathlete who up until now has mostly raced at Standard Distance Draft Legal events in the UK. After qualifying for the GB Age Group team in 2007 in  his first year in the sport,  Paul has constantly pushed the boundaries of his triathlon career from South West Champion in 2008 to nudging into the elite area of the sport in 2010. “My heart has always been in the draft legal format, ever since I watched Tim Don racing in Hamburg I have wanted to do this, now im racing the likes of Tim and the British Elite men I am living the dream, I mean yes they smash me to pieces, but to step up to the mark and race your heroes is such a buzz for me”.

Paul’s career highlights include a 4th place at Liverpool last year and a 2nd Place at the inaugural Bristol Draft Legal triathlon where he beat many of his local rivals in this format. This season working away has taken its toll on his racing but a 2nd place at Bradford upon Avon triathlon in a closely fought race against local pro Tom Room was a good start to the season, since then an illness caused a DNF at Blenheim Elite but Paul is hopeful that he will be fit again for London Elite at the end of July. “This season was all about establishing myself in the elite field and getting used to my new job, anything else is a bonus for me”.