Road Nationals

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Learn from experts: cycling performance seminars by AusCycling and Federation University

AusCycling and Federation University are offering a free online seminar series as part of next week’s 2022 Federation University Road National Championships.

The 2022 AusCycling/Federation University Cycling Performance Seminar Series will feature presentations from some of the world’s leading academics and practitioners.

They’ll discuss a range of topics focusing on the practical application of sport science to cycling.

If you’re a cyclist or coach who’d like to learn how to improve your performance, make sure you sign up for this series.


The importance of cycling biomechanics

Monday 10 January, 6–7pm AEDT 

Dr Rodrigo Bini

Sleep for recovery – a practical athlete perspective

Monday 10 January, 7–8pm AEDT

Dr Kathleen Miles

Women in sport with a cycling twist

Tuesday 11 January, 6–8pm AEDT

Dr Natalie Saunders, Dr Olivia Knowles, Dr Dom Condo, Monica Kelly

The importance of strength training for cyclists

Thursday 13 January, 6–7pm AEDT

Dr Ryan Worn

Nutrition for cyclists – from the recreational to the elite

Thursday 1 January, 7–8pm AEDT

Kelsey Weight

Seminar details and presenters

Session 1: The importance of cycling biomechanics

Monday 10 January, 6–7pm AEDT

Biomechanics is the cornerstone of efficient and effective cycling performance. In this session Dr Rodrigo Bini will revisit basic elements of cycling biomechanics and will discuss tested strategies to prevent injuries and improve performance of cyclists.

Dr Rodrigo Bini

Rodrigo is a trained biomechanist and ESSA Accredited Exercise Scientist working as a Senior Lecturer at the La Trobe Rural Health School. Rodrigo’s research involves the quantitative analysis of human posture and movement to enable improvements in function and reductions in risk of injuries. He uses various techniques including video analysis, measurements of force and muscle activation to inform computer models and artificial intelligence. Through his research he has been able to support minimise injury risk through looking at biomechanical set up.

Rodrigo is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Science and Cycling and a member of the editorial board of the Sports Biomechanics journal, European Journal of Sports Sciences Isokinetics and Exercise Science and Human Movement journal.

Session 2: Sleep for recovery – a practical athlete perspective

Monday 10 January, 7–8pm AEDT

Sleep is essential in the preparation for, and recovery from, athletic training and competition. However, athletes can have suboptimal sleep patterns and habits, as well as regularly encountering challenges to their sleep, such as training and competition schedules.

In this presentation Dr Kathleen Miles will outline what sleep is and why it is important for athletes, discuss potential issues athletes can have with their sleep, before providing some practical solutions to help your sleep and recovery.

Dr Kathleen Miles

Kathleen is the High-Performance Centre Project Officer at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). She completed her PhD in 2021 on the sleep and recovery of Australian female athletes through the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE). Kathleen continues to actively engage in applied research projects as well as manage students in the areas of sleep and performance recovery. Kathleen spent her youth riding her bike around Canberra and is a big supporter of cycling in Australia.

Session 3: Women in sport with a cycling twist

Tuesday 11 January, 6–8pm AEDT

Understanding of the female athlete to enhance the health and performance of women and girls in sport and exercise is advancing. In addition, there are improvements in knowledge to positively transform the systems or environments that support women and girls in sport. Natalie, Dom, Olivia and Monica represent a Deakin Women in Sport and Exercise group that will present an overview of the landscape surrounding women and girls in sport followed by current research in energy availability and nutrition, the menstrual cycle and performance and heat acclimation protocols for female athletes. Natalie and Monica have a passion for cycling and will draw on their experiences to apply a sport-specific lens to the discussion.

Dr Natalie Saunders
Insights into the current landscape surrounding women and girls in sport

Dr Saunders is currently a co-director for the Centre for Sport Research and co-facilitator of Deakin Women in Sport and Exercise (WISE). She is a Senior Lecturer and Accredited Exercise Physiologist in the Faculty of Health, School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University. She completed her PhD in neuromuscular and biomechanical characteristics of the female landing pattern in netball. Her research interests include understanding neuromuscular control and biomechanical loading of the lower limb relating to injury and performance; translating evidence-based research into practice in the wider community; women in sport and exercise. Some current work in partnership with Athletics Australia is focusing on characteristics of elite performance to better understanding and inform athlete development pathways. 

Dr Olivia Knowles

Current research into our understanding of the menstrual cycle and performance, including considerations for future research

Olivia Knowles is a PhD candidate in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University. Her research investigates the effect of inadequate sleep on strength training and skeletal muscle health in females. She has a particular interest in how the menstrual cycle impacts exercise performance. Olivia is also the AFLW High Performance Manager at the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

Dr Dom Condo

Nutritional requirements for female athletes with a focus on energy availability and the prevention of RED-S

Dr Dom Condo is an accredited sports dietitian, with over 10 years’ experience in high performance sports. Dom is consulting to Richmond FC as the lead performance dietitian to the AFL and AFLW program. Dr Dom also works as a senior lecturer in sports nutrition at Deakin University. One of her key research areas is in female athletes in energy availability, body image and disordered eating. Dr Dom is the vice president of Sports dietitian Australia and has her own consulting business with a large focus on female athletes.

Monica Kelly

Heat acclimation protocols for female athletes, what do we know and what next?

Monica studied a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science (Honours) at Deakin University. She completed her Honours degree, in a collaborative partnership between Deakin University and Geelong Football Club studying “Short duration heat acclimation in Australian football players”. Monica has worked at Geelong Football Club from 2014-2021 as a Performance Science Coordinator before a transition to Women’s Physical Performance Coordinator. Monica commenced her PhD in June 2020 with a focus on ‘Heat acclimation protocols for female athletes.

Session 4: The importance of strength training for cyclists
Thursday 13 January, 6–7pm AEDT

This session will focus on the benefits of Strength and Conditioning for improving cycling power, pedalling technique, fatigue resistance and injury resistance. Dr Ryan Worn will pay special attention to maximising the benefits of strength and conditioning while minimising weight gain and muscle soreness.

Dr Ryan Worn

Dr Worn is a lecturer in Exercise and Sport Science and has a special interest in biomechanics, strength and conditioning and exercise physiology. Ryan’s research has been centred around cycling science and as such, Ryan has significant involvement with the AusCycling/Fed Uni partnerships. A former track cyclist, he still loves to ride and pass his hours of training knowledge and experience onto cyclists of all ages. Ryan also shares his passion for cycling and other sports on the Sport Swoop podcast.

Session 5: Nutrition for cyclists – from the recreational to the elite
Thursday 1 January, 7–8pm AEDT

Fuelling the body is a critical element of cycling performance regardless of whether a rider is competing at the elite level or completing a Gran Fondo for the first time. Kelsey Weight will provide you with simple and practical fuelling strategies that you can easily implement to elevate your performance. Kelsey will look at pre-race, mid race, and post-race nutrition. The session will also look at the importance of hydration, the use of ergogenic aids to assist performance and discuss maurten gels and ketones.

Kelsey Weight

Kelsey is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and works in private practice settings, offers online consultations and is a lecturer in nutrition at Federation University. Kelsey has worked with recreational and elite level athletes in a range of sports and believes nutrition is one of the most underutilised elements of athletic performance.

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