Sports scientists prep cyclists for endurance event

30-Jul-2015

Cyclist Sonia Walker gets some physical and mental endurance tips from Dr Daniel Gahreman and Dr Simon Moss

Cyclist Sonia Walker gets some physical and mental endurance tips from Dr Daniel Gahreman and Dr Simon Moss


Experts in sports science and psychology from Charles Darwin University are helping Northern Territory cyclists achieve their best in this year’s NT Gran Fondo.

Covering 120km from the Darwin Waterfront to Berry Springs and back, the NT Gran Fondo (literally meaning “Big Endurance” in Italian) will take in some fabulous Top End scenery, while pushing the physical and mental limits of the cyclists involved.

On hand to help them deal with pain and boost their mental and physical endurance will be lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science Dr Daniel Gahreman, and senior lecturer in Psychology Dr Simon Moss, who will hold workshops for cyclists at the two-day event.

“We will be working with sub-elite and elite cyclists to test and gather information on factors that affect performance, including body composition, lung capacity, blood lactate levels, body core temperature, blood haemoglobin and haematocrit, water consumption and weight loss due to sweating,” Dr Gahreman said.

To support this physical testing, Dr Moss will give cyclists mental exercises designed to improve concentration and withstand pain, and will monitor the results.

“These exercises will entail mental imagery, actual photographs, answering questions, and physical movements,” Dr Moss said. “For example, some individuals will be encouraged to clench their right fist every 30 minutes or so — an exercise that has been shown to enhance persistence.”

As a major sponsor of the NT Gran Fondo, CDU is working to promote the general wellbeing of Territorians through exercise, improve the performance of local athletes and gather data for research. Dr Gahreman said that this was part of a wider strategy of collaboration between CDU experts and local athletes and teams.

“We are now working with professional cycling, football, hockey and swimming clubs for research purposes and to improve athletes and local teams’ performance,” Dr Gahreman said.

Registrations for the NT Gran Fondo close on 12 August. For more information, visit W: topendgranfondo.com/

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