A preliminary investigation of the use of inertial sensing technology for the measurement of hip rotation asymmetry in horse riders

Below is a link to the online publication of the first in a series of research papers I have co-authored.

“A preliminary investigation of the use of inertial sensing technology for the measurement of hip rotation asymmetry in horse riders”




This study investigated the use of inertial sensing technology as an indicator of asymmetry in horse riders, evidenced by discrepancies in the angle of external rotation of the hip joint. Twelve horse and rider combinations were assessed with the rider wearing the XsensTM MVN inertial motion capture suit. Asymmetry (left vs right) was revealed in mean hip external rotation of all riders, with values ranging from 1° to 27°, and 83% showed greater external rotation of the right hip. This study represents novel use of inertial sensing equipment in its application to the measurement of rider motion patterns. The technique is non-invasive, is capable of recording rider hip rotation asymmetry whilst performing a range of movements unhindered and was found to be efficient and practical, with potential to further advance the analysis of horse and rider interactions.


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Gran fondo and sportive training plan April 2014



Welcome to the 4th instalment of our six-month series of training articles supporting you in your training and preparation for the summer Gran Fondo and Sportive season in 2014.

If you missed the first instalment please see here and for the second article in February, please click here and for the month of March, click here

To get thinking about how to prepare yourself for travelling to your event, have a look here for some handy tips

This month we will focus on the Hell of the North, the Paris-Roubaix

Paris Roubaix Cyclo Sportive

The Paris-Roubaix. Words that conjour up images of that unique, classic French cycling event: the cobbles, the danger, the excitement! The Hell of the North!

The Paris-Roubaix Cyclo emulates the real thing, following the route of the majority of the professional event, including a lap of the famous Roubaix Velodrome.

You can follow the famous names of Stuart O’Grady, Fabian Cancelara and Johan Museeuw and find out what it really takes to complete the race.

Enter the 2014 Paris Roubaix Cyclo Sportive

This event is run every two years, so the next Paris Roubaix Cyclo will be in 2014, on the 8th of June. New for 2012 were two distance options: 210 km and 120km. These are available again this year.

The Legend: 210 km long ,closely related to the course of the professional race, with54 km of paving stones, from BOHAIN-En-vermandois (near Saint-Quentin and Cambrai) to the Roubaix Velodrome.

The Final: 120 km long as a shorter alternative, with 32 km of paving stones, starting in WALLERS-ARENBERG (near Valenciennes).

Both finish on the Velodrome track in ROUBAIX.

Every two years, thousands of cyclists from across the continent head over to France to take on this sportive, giving it a truly international feel. As the Official Tour Operator for the UK of the Paris Roubaix Cyclo sportive, we offer a great travel package to help you get the most out of the event. Paris-Roubaix cyclo-sportive

As the Paris-Roubaix will be televised, here is some more information about the event:click here

As if this was not enough, in July, the 2014 Tour de France will see stage 5 venture onto the cobbles. The riders will tackle nine sections of pave totalling 15.4km, including iconic names from Paris-Roubaix like the Carrefour de l’Arbre and the Trouee d’Arenberg where the riders will finish. On our trip you will get the opportunity to ride the cobbles on our guided ride.


Welcome to April; the clocks have gone forward, spring is in the air, the weather is improving, all of which are making it more pleasurable to be out on the bike.  We have been training for 3 months now and at this point it’s not uncommon to have a dip in motivation as your Gran Fondo or Sportive event is still some way off.  But we need to maintain a healthy level of fear of the forthcoming challenge so this month the training goes up another notch.  Until now we’ve been laying a solid foundation to build upon, but now the sessions are becoming even more structured and focussed with alternate sessions changing each week.  Mid-week you might be able to get out on the roads, but otherwise turbo sets are still on offer.   In May you might be going on a training camp and having entered one or two build up sportive events, so it’s important this month to nail these key sessions to build on those foundations we’ve laid over the winter.


  • Bike-focussed key sessions, alternating in detail each week
  • Nutrition – nail your post recovery refuelling to deal with the workload
  • Get a massage


Training is testing and testing is training, so with the Time Trial season underway you could look to try and enter a few events to test your pacing and threshold tolerance in a real-world scenario that we started working on in February.  You can find events from 10 miles through to 100 miles, most areas will have a weekly 10 mile or 25 mile time trial which you can substitute for the midweek threshold session on the training program.

If you want to find local bike Time trials you can go to www.rttc.or.uk orwww.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk or www.britishcycling.org.uk

To ensure you are still thinking about the quality of the pedalling technique your test this month is a maximum cadence test and a Floating Leg drill (FL drill).  The Floating Leg drill is; roughly 90% force on one leg – 10% on the free leg, done as 2 mins one leg – 1 min both legs recovery – 2 mins other leg = 5 mins.

During the recovery ride (scheduled for Monday on the program) at the start and end of the month test your maximum cadence achieved for the following durations:

  1. 5 seconds
  2. 30 seconds
  3. 1 minute

So let’s not make a Fool of ourselves in April – let’s be Smart instead.

Long ride 1  (5hrs, in sections)

  1. Warm up in SCR @ 95 – 100 rpm ( no free wheeling ) for 30mins, then LCR > 80% for 30mins  (60 mins).
  2.  Next section of the ride; start by 10 mins steady then 10 x 5 mins @ RP – with 30 seconds recovery between sets.  Then take 5 mins steady recovery before repeating for a second time. (Total 2hrs 15 mins for this section)
  3. Next section of the ride; start with 15 mins steady then go for 12 mins @ RP – with 3 mins recovery. Repeat a 2nd time  (60 mins)
  4. Any time left on the ride split into thirds (Easy,  RP, faster than RP) with equal time in each third
  5. Cool down.  Last 5 – 10 mins of ride in SCR with a cadence of 95 – 100 rpm – no free  wheeling .

Long ride 2 (4hrs)

  1. Warm up in the SCR for 15mins, then do a floating leg drill for 5 mins followed by HITS for 10 mins ( 10 x 30” fast – 30” easy recovery ).  Then 30mins steady (70%).
  2. Next 75 mins OG ( over gear ) by 1 for 20 mins then 5 mins recovery – 20 mins > by 2 gears – 5 mins recovery – final 20 mins by 3 gears.- 5 mins recovery  All ~ 75 – 85 rpm
  3. Next 45 mins as high spinning @ 100 +  rpm,
  4. Followed by 1 or 2 x 20 mins @ RP – with 10 mins recovery between sets
  5. End the ride with 5 – 10 mins @ 95 – 100 rpm – no free wheeling.


Warm Up.  Start at 60 rpm  and increase by 5 rpm every 1minute until you reach 120 rpm

Single leg drill with floating free leg – to increase strength & smooth pedalling.

Left leg for 5 mins in LCR @ 50rpm – 5 mins both legs recovery – then Right leg for 5 mins in LCR with other leg floating.  Recovery 5 mins both legs .

M/S   4 “ block under front wheel. Or long hill ~ 3 miles if real hill available.

15 mins climb @ 50 rpm – ht rate ~ 75 bpm. Then 5 mins recovery spin. 4 x = 80 mins

Spin Down pyramid, start at 60 rpm and increase to 110 rpm then reduce back down to 60 rpm . (1 min on each rpm).


WU 10 mins easy spinning, then 5 mins as 30” max effort @ 70 – 80 rpm 30” recovery.  Then 5 mins ez spin

M/S  6 x 5 mins seated @ 50 / 60 rpm – 2mins recovery spin

Spin Down 10mins

Build ride (Road or Turbo)

Warm Up, then 20k moderate –20k mod/hard – 20k hard – 20k v. hard = 80k then Spin Down

(Recovery week 10k ez – 10k mod – 10k mod/hard – 10k hard = 40k then S/D).


For those with a power metre use your FTP, for those without use the heart rates as indicated.

Warm Up, then 15 mins @ 110% of FTP ( ~ 90% ht rate )  – 15 mins @ 90% FTP ( ~ 80% ht rate.)   Repeat 3 x  = 90 mins.  Then Spin Down.


With the increase in volume and intensity of your training you must pay close attention to your recovery strategies, particularly your post training nutrition. It is easy to think that because you are training hard that you can get away with eating what you like. I touched on this topic last month, but now we pay even closer attention to it.  Just like your car, if you put poor quality fuel in you will get poor quality performance from it.  Thinking about your post ride refuel strategy you can break it down into two key timings.  Firstly that 30min window post ride where you need to replace carbohydrate stores, replace hydration, replace amino acids, replace electrolytes, and reduce metabolic acidity.  This can be done through a recovery shake, either homemade (see recipes below) or a prepared powder version.   Then you have a second window of 90min to 2hours post exercise where you need to take on more solid food with a similar goal as before.  


This month, if you’ve not been doing so already, get a massage from a recommended physio or soft tissue therapist and ensure you are keeping up with the foam rolling yourself.  I have laid the foundation of self-massage with foam rollers in the earlier articles, but with the increased load this month it is important to revisit this topic.  Getting a massage now will help you identify areas which are getting too tight or any niggles which have not yet turned into a full blown injury.  This can help you target your own conditioning program to address your particular needs, whether that is tight hip flexors, glutes or lower back for example.  Hopefully you had a musculoskeletal screening back in January to put a plan together to reduce your risk of injury, but don’t loose sight of the supplementary work you need to do to keep injury free.  Lost weeks from training due to injury now will impact heavily on your ability to complete your events in the summer.

The tools you should have available to look after yourself are as follows:

  • Foam roller – eg. The Grid (basic self massage)
  • Foam roller – eg. The Beast (deeper muscle tissue work)
  • Peanut – 2 tennis balls taped together (soft tissue work / spinal mobility)
  • Tennis ball (localised soft tissue work)
  • Mobility band / old inner tube cut down the middle (tack and floss work)

Recipe(s) of the month

Recovery smoothie 1


  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup almond milk (canned coconut if you want more calories/fat)
  • 1-2 eggs (safest if from pastured chickens)


  1. Fill a blender with the frozen berries and quickly pulse with a little hot water to break them up
  2. Add shredded coconut, eggs, and almond milk
  3. Continue to blend until smooth, and divide into two glasses

Note: you may have to cut the recipe in half and blend two smoothies separately, depending on the size of your blender.

Recovery smoothie 2

Strawburst Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

This smoothie combines the anti-inflammatory ingredients of pineapple, ginger, turmeric, and Flora Oil (omega-3 fatty acids). It’s a great daily postworkout drink, soothing aching muscles and is loaded with healthy fats as well as carbohydrates and protein.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup frozen mango
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • ½ cup frozen shelled edamame
  • ¼ cup dried coconut flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Flora Oil 3-6-9 Blend
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth.

Training plan

Phase 4 April  
Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Recovery rides- easy 30-60mins SCR (include  x4-6 spin ups, gradually build to fastest sustainable cadence and hold for 1min- start and end of month do cadence test)


Strength –

Alternate between Hills set and Strength set.

Core/ gym / pilates / mobility Threshold-

Alternate between

Build ride and FTP set.



Rest / stretch and mobilise Easy-




 long 4-5hrs.

Alternate between Long ride 1 and 2.

Stretch and mobilise


Strength and Conditioning April


Foam roller / tennis ball 30secs each area

Feet, Calves, Peroneals, Quads, Glutes, TFL/ITB, Groin/Adductors

Pecs, Lats, Posterior shoulder

Resistance day 1:

Exercise Tempo Reps Rest
1a) Deadlift 201 3-4x 5 3min
1b) Bench Press 201 3x 5 2min
2a) Gym ball hamstring curls Dynamic 3×8 90sec
2b) Bent over rows 201 3×6 90 sec
3a) Bulgarian split squat (back leg on gym ball) 211 3×15 60 sec
3b) Mountain climbers on gym ball Dynamic 3x 10 30 sec

 Resistance day 2:

Exercise Tempo Reps Rest
1a) Backsquat 201 3-4x 5 3min
1b) Pull ups 211 3x as many as possible 2min
2a) Reverse lunges 201 3-4×8 60sec
2b) Press ups 201 3-4×10 60sec
3a) Side planks single leg hold Static hold 6x 10seconds 30sec
3b) Front plank with hip extension Static hold 3x 30-60sec 60sec


10min easy spin on the bike

For further information on physio, coaching or bike fitting please contact info@hp-3.co.uk  or see the clinic websites www.athletematters.co.uk www.physiohaus.co.ukwww.hp-3.co.uk

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Recent results

Kate Waugh – National Duathlon Champion

kate waugh nat du champ


‘Kate was delighted with her win: “It’s amazing [here], this whole stadium is huge – it’s amazing, I felt really famous. It was a really good course and everyone worked together really well on the bike. The run was hard but I’m glad I had enough in my legs to finish.

“I’m hoping to do well in the rest of the [British Triathlon Youth Super] Series. There is Blenheim Triathlon, which should be good; I’m really looking forward to doing that one.”


Aly Dixon – World Half Marathon Championships

18th and 4th European and a BIG PB of 70.37.

aly dixon copenhagen

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