Posts Tagged ‘aglaia’

Prince’s Gold

I’m pleased with my ride at yesterday’s Prince’s Risborough sportive. I beat the gold time target by a decent margin, doing 126km in 4hrs 20, the same time as I posted for the 114km Burgess Hill Classic in late March. The BHC was admittedly a lot hillier, and that day I spent a fair amount of time solo whereas yesterday I was able to work with small groups of strong riders to draft on the flat. Check the results – I’m around 33 out of 232 finishers. (more…)


Last night I went for a sports massage. These were my symptoms going into the session:

  • Tight hamstrings and calves (largely from climbing Snowdon on Saturday as opposed to riding).
  • Tight lower back / sides. Over the last week or so I’ve had trouble getting comfortable sitting down, and apparently this has been due to tightness in my glutes and ilio-tibial bands.
  • Actual pain in the top left of my back, between the shoulder blade and my spine (again, Snowdon, somehow).

My masseuse is Aglaia Hernandez aka ‘Fingers of Steel’. I visited Aglaia twice last year for recovery massages after the Dragon Ride and Southern Sportive. At the time she recommended more stretching and core work, and I’ve made a real effort to keep to a regular 20 min spot of stretching and exercises after my morning commute, as well as after long rides.

Over the hour she discovered further issues:

  • My neck was sore and sensitive. Apparently she wasn’t pressing that hard but it killed! We attribute this to riding in traffic with a rucksack and looking behind to check the traffic.
  • I have sore hands from gripping handlebars every day. 
  • My pecs are tight, exacerbating my upper back issues.

Aglaia has various techniques for using pressure to work stiffness out of the muscles and joints, and she’ll prescribe stretches to help prevent further tightness. In the session itself she does prolonged stretches of different muscle groups that are quite hard to stretch properly without hands-on, expert advice (e.g. the neck) – always emphasising the importance of proper breathing.

If you exercise regularly, treat yourself to a session of deep tissue massage. I can’t really describe the dramatic physical transformation that takes place in just one hour. You don’t realise how knackered and stressed and tight your body is until it’s been put through the wringer by a trained professional. I actually have trouble walking after one of Aglaia’s sessions…