“HGC Heroes” in “Longest Day Golf Challenge” update, and how best to prepare for your own challenge.

Gregg Roberts
on
May 24, 2021

Introduction

As previously mentioned, the White House Clinic are supporting our clients and friends of the clinic, the “HGC Heroes”, made up of Tom Sadowski, Luke Fillingham, Jim Tasker and Jamie Shepherd, in the build-up and through their “Longest Day Golf Challenge” to play 4 rounds of golf in 1 day, all in support of MacMillan Cancer Support.

As the challenge grows closer, we are taking a closer look as some of the advice we have given the “HGC Heroes” for their challenge to help them be as prepared as possible. The principles of this can be applied to any challenge.

The basic principles to consider when preparing for a physical challenge

When advising our clients on how to prepare and be ready for a physical challenge, there are some basic principles to consider. These principles can be adapted and applied to any physical challenge, whether that is running your first 10km, taking part in a ‘Strongman’ competition or cycling the “coast to coast”.  

Using these principles will have you better prepared, reduce your risk of injury and will also have you performing better for the challenge itself.

The 4 most basic principles to consider are:

  1. Engaging in an appropriate Training Plan
  2. Completing appropriate Strength & Conditioning
  3. Using ‘Load Management’ strategies
  4. Seek Advice and Treatment (if required)

Engaging in an appropriate Training Plan

When committing to undertake any physical or endurance challenge, it is important to review the task at hand and pick the most appropriate training plan to match this. Without this, your training plan may fail, you may suffer setbacks or injury and ultimately you may fail in your attempt to complete what you set out to do in the first place.  

If we use the “HGC Heroes” as the example to explain this, our first bit of advice to them was to set their training plans out to best serve the task at hand. In this instance, they are doing two things; playing a lot of golf, and walking over 20 miles on the day. Their training plans therefore need to match this. They need to prepare their bodies with both golf specific strength, as well as working on their walking endurance, or simply put ‘build their tolerance to time spent on their feet’ by getting lot and lots of steps in.

When looking at your own challenge, review what type of challenge you are wanting to complete (i.e. endurance/strength/speed) and pick a training plan that reflects this. This is simple advice, but it will allow you to set off on the right path.

Completing appropriate Strength and Conditioning

An appropriate Strength and Conditioning programme is essential in the build-up to attempting any challenge. It is a well-researched topic that Strength and Conditioning of the body is the best means for improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. When preparing for a challenge, only completing an appropriate training plan, without a specific Strength and Conditioning programme, is not enough.

Using the example of the “HGC Heroes” again with their “Longest Day Golf Challenge”, we advised them that they needed to condition and strengthen the areas of their bodies which will be ‘overloaded’ over the weeks of their training plan and with the actual challenge itself, i.e. their backs/hips/knees/ankles and core. Their strength and conditioning programme therefore included a series of exercises to add strength to each of these areas and specifically for Golf.

When selecting a Strength and Conditioning programme appropriate for your challenge, think about which areas of the body you will be exhausting or ‘overloading’- these are the areas that will need to be conditioned and given extra care over the weeks of your training plan. A simple Strength and Conditioning programme can easily be run alongside your training plan.

For any Golfers wishing to understand more about Strength and Conditioning and what some of these exercises entail, please review our article series starting with “A Physiotherapist Guide to Home-Based ‘Golf-Fitness’ – Part 1”.

Using ‘Load Management’ strategies

Effective ‘load management’ is essential in any good training plan to prevent injuries or setbacks. ‘Load management’ is ensuring that as you ramp up your training, you are doing this in a way so that your body can cope. Without this, you risk ‘overloading’ areas of your body, leading to niggles and/or pain and injuries.  

Again, using the “HGC Heroes” challenge as the example, one for the team suffered a setback by having a muscle injury in their back some weeks ago. By seeking advice immediately and being educated on how to manage his training load appropriately, both on and off the golf course, he was able to continue to engage in his training plan in some capacity, whilst constantly monitoring his pain symptoms and his body’s reaction, ensuring his progress was not derailed altogether.

Experiencing pain symptoms and niggles whilst engaged in a lengthy training plan is common, seeking early advice can often ensure that you are able to overcome the issue, but also continue with your training plan with only minor tweaks.

‘Load management’ is something that physios are well positioned to advise on, so do not hesitate to contact us if this is applicable to you.

Seeking Professional Advice and Treatment (if required)

When attempting a new physical challenge or task, do not be frightened to seek advice. This is not admitting defeat and early intervention can often prevent a complete derailing of your training plan, and failure of completing your challenge.

With the example of one of the team of the “HGC Heroes” suffering onset of back pain in his training plan, he will confirm that by seeking early advice and intervention, he was able to ensure he has stayed engaged with his training plan in the build-up to undertaking the “Longest Day Golf Challenge”.  

Alongside all the above, Sports Massage can also play an important role in recovery, and this can be utilised throughout any training plan to ‘iron out’ muscle tension, aid performance and also reduce the risk of injury.

Summary

Undertaking a new physical challenge is difficult. Applying some basic principles as listed above will allow you to be as prepared as possible, and it will assist you to be able to feel confident in completing your desired challenge.

The White House Clinic have a team of clinicians with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience for all sports and are well positioned to advise and treat you (if required).

If you have a challenge upcoming and would like to ensure that you best positioned to complete it, do not hesitate to contact us.

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