After my ride in the 100km event three years ago I have finally recovered and will be taking on the 68 km trek this year. At this rate in 5 years time I shall be dangerous on the 44km.
As I have often advised clients, I have gradually increased my training from relatively short rides on the road, to increasingly long bush rides. I experienced some achilles irritation early on in my training and this required a period of rest, gentle stretching and then some eccentric exercises but it settled well with early notice and appropriate care. It pays to pick up problems early as they tend to settle when treated appropriately. The old sit bones have copped a pounding but even that area seems to have settled now with my continued riding.
Overall, its great to set physical goals to encourage increased activity, and there are a huge variety of events available every weekend in Sydney and NSW (http://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/adventure-and-sport ). Mountain biking may not be your thing but physical exercise should be everybody's.
Have a look at Dr Mike Evan's on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo)if you require any further convincing. For me, I feel stronger, am sleeping better and I can be more focused during the day's activities.
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Jason is the Leichhardt Physiotherapy's practice principal and has been practicing as a physiotherapist for over 16 years