CUAC offers subsidised physiotherapy sessions every week for members. These take place in the clubhouse (2017-2018 days tbc) with Richard Luddington of Fit Again Sports Therapy. Sign up sheets are sent out a few days in advance by email. Please contact James Coxon ( if you have any queries.

If you are unable to make these sessions or require additional treatment, below is an inexhaustive list of recommended therapists in the area. We always recommend you see someone as soon as possible in order to get on with any recovery needed.

If you would like to see a physiotherapist listed here, or have feedback to give about an experience (good or bad) with one, please email Amrita Panesar (


Fit Again Sports Therapy,

Offer a 20% discount to CUAC athletes, (£20 for half hour, £32 for one hour with discount).

Richard Patman,

Offers discounted price to CUAC athletes of £20 (half hour) or £30 (full hour)

Mojo Rathbone, 01223 315541 (Osteotherapy)

Beechwood Complimentary Medical Practice, 41 Hills Road

Cambridge Physiotherapy Clinic, 01223 211606

Magog Court, Shelford Bottom, CB22 3AD

Sportsmed East, 01473 612487

David Lloyd Centre, Coldham’s Lane, CB1 3LH

Spinal Physio & Sports Medicine, 01223 350622

124 Gilbert Road, Cambridge, CB4 3PD

Cambridge Complementary Health Centre, 01223 355344

8 Rose Crescent, Cambridge, CB2 3LL

Fit for Sport Sports Therapy, 01223 837315

The Ley’s School Sports Centre, Trumpington Road, CB2 7AD

Mark Roberson (Sports Massage Therapy)

Beechwood Complementary Medical Practice, 41 Hills Road

Injury Advice

We have all had times of frustration where we are injured but are desperate to train and improve. This gets us nowhere.

In order to improve at your discipline you need to apply a training stimulus to your injury-free body, and then allow sufficient time to rest and recover.

There are many areas of your fitness that will improve through this method and we target them with different training modalities. For example:

• Speed – Sprints of short (up to 7 seconds) duration with full recovery

• Speed endurance/Lactic capacity – Reps of runs greater than 7 seconds with limited or full recovery

• Strength – Circuits and gym work

• Aerobic capacity – Long runs/Fartlek work/Interval runs

• Flexibility – Stretching/Massage

• Technique

These aspects are all important to all disciplines, but with different emphases. Above all, you need to be injury-free, in order to benefit.

There are two parts to injury - prevention and recovery.

Injury Prevention

This is the key to a successful training program. Most injuries that athletes sustain are as a result of an inadequate training program. Either the training is too intense, of too high a volume, or inappropriate for the athlete’s current capability.

Try to get a better understanding of your own body and how it responds to exercise. Make sure you warm up properly before a training session. If you feel like you need to do an extra lap or a particular stretch and it helps then do it. If everyone else is warming up with two laps but you feel that this is too much for your current condition then just do one lap. If you have shin splints and need to warm up on the grass in-field then go ahead and do that.

Make sure you have the right footwear. Find a pair of trainers that fit your properly and have adequate support. A lot of people choose to go to a high street shop to try on different brands and sizes and then go online to get a reasonable price.

Wear suitable clothing. If it is warm and you are doing a technical/high intensity session then you will not need many layers and what you do wear should not restrict your range of movement. Lycra shorts and a vest/t-shirt is the norm in athletics. Equally, if it is cold then make sure you wear warm clothing and keep your layers on for as long as is feasible during the training session. Think about taking your rest period inside the Pavilion which is always warm.

Think about the training modalities stated above and what you are trying to achieve from the session. The coaches are very good, but a successful relationship is a two-way affair. They need to know how you are responding to the training and how you are feeling. If you are tired, stiff and sore from a heavy session on Monday then it might be more appropriate to do some light medicine ball work on the Wednesday rather than another high intensity speed endurance session. If, on the other hand, Monday’s session was great and you have recovered well and are ready to go again then by all means hit it hard on the Wednesday as well.

Be open-minded. Think about what works for you. If you find that passive stretching for a little while helps you loosen up then go ahead and do it. It would seem that everyone is an expert on exercise, and you will find internet articles that say that no one should ever do passive stretching. Equally, some say that creatine only works with big loading doses. However, that might cause water-retention and make you more likely to pull a muscle. Think about whether very low, daily doses might be more beneficial. The trick is to hear everyone’s opinion, read as widely as you can and then make up your own mind.

If you do have a night of heavy drinking then think about whether it is appropriate to do a high intensity/technical session the day after, or whether it would be more appropriate to have a rest day or to do some light circuit-type work instead.

General Recovery Aids:

• Stretching helps increase blood flow to your muscles and increase recovery time

• Ice bath immediately after a hard session may help

• Hot bath the day after a hard session

• Contrast showers i.e. 3 minutes hot and 1 minute cold (finishing with cold) are useful all the time

• Massage, especially in competent hands, can be extremely useful

• Getting enough sleep even if this means taking a short nap in the middle of the day

• Eat well

Injury Recovery

If you do injure yourself during a session make sure you stop immediately and do not aggravate it. Talk to your coach or squad leader and try to work out what it is. If you are concerned about something serious, for example, a fracture or a dislocation then head straight to a medical professional. Otherwise, for the most part, you should aim to see a physiotherapist and work out why you became injured, how you can recover as quickly as possible, and above all, how you can avoid it happening again.

There are many different types of injuries but some are more common than others in athletics. If you suspect any of the following, prioritise getting it checked out, over your next training session.

Below are some general guidelines for dealing with some more typical injuries.

Shin splints:

• Cut back on the amount of running you do in the first instance and try to run on grass instead of on concrete or other hard surfaces.

• Some people benefit from self-massage on their calves.

• Orthotics can help maintain the arches in your foot and reduce the impact on your shins.

Muscle strains/pulls:

• These should be iced initially. Ice can be found in the first aid room in the Pavilion.

• Rest completely for the next 24 hours and try to get input from a trained physiotherapist.

• If you are unable to see a physiotherapist then try to work out a plan with your coach/squad leader. This will normally involve training extremely lightly at first (e.g. just doing a short warm up) and then increasing the amount of work you do over a period of time.

Nutrition and Supplements

CUAC holds a neutral position on dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet to aid strength improvements and recovery. The following are (in order) a very basic suggestion of where to begin researching (in the order listed below) if you are interested in starting to supplement your diet and have never done so before. However, we strongly recommend that you speak to your coach and seek their advice before doing so.

Please remember that it is also frequently suggested that you should rest your body from all supplements for a few weeks every few months (including traditional vitamin pills).

NB: None of the following compounds are on the IOC List of Prohibited Substances.


A naturally occurring amino acid that is essential in everyone's diet and is used heavily in immune and recovery. It is not present in normal diets in high enough levels if you are undertaking strenuous exercise. This is taken almost as standard by professional sportsmen. Recommended procedure is to take 5gs immediately after a workout. It can be taken with juice to take the bitter edge off the taste.

Protein Powder

If you are working hard then extra protein helps. If you can’t afford to eat 6 chicken breasts a day, then protein as supplement is an affordable, effective alternative. Take it only when working out, and you also probably do not need to take as much as the makers advise. You’ll soon know when you are taking too much as you'll sweat out the ketone by-products that your body produces when it has excess protein (and you’ll smell quite unpleasant!).

‘Whey protein isolate’ is a milk derivative (‘natural’). What may not be so natural, or effective, (and definitely will be expensive), are all the other extras you get in some of the big brand products. If you want pure protein go somewhere like as it will be cheaper, purer and often more soluble. Powder can be combined with a tasty fruit smoothie, or you can mix in some Nesquik if you would prefer a flavoured milk-like drink.

NB: CUAC are able to gain extra sponsorship if you buy through our sponsored links!

Simply click on the following links, add to your basket and checkout as normal.

CUAC will then receive sponsorship at 8% the value of your purchase. For Myprotein purchases click here. For Amazon purchases click here.

Creatine (Please research carefully before buying)

Contrary to popular belief, creatine is not steroidal. This is the catalyst used in re-attaching a phosphate group to ADP to make ATP - i.e. it is in all of us already. It is the removal of a phosphate group from an ATP molecule that releases energy in your cells, and creatine catalysis is the fastest way to get that group reattached ready for the delivery of more energy to your cells. Thus, the more creatine you have, the longer you can work at maximal effort (i.e. the longer you can reattach phosphate groups at your maximal rate). The average person’s muscles store enough creatine to keep you at max for an about 6-9 seconds. After that, you have to switch to slower energy systems (glycolysis) that produce by-products as they reattach the phosphate rings – hence why you hit lactic on a 150m effort much more readily than on a 60 m effort. As you rest, your creatine itself is recycled ready for you next effort at max rate (this is why we rest between reps).

Creatine supplementation means your body can go at max for longer, so it’s great for sprinters and those training to develop power: elevated levels can take you from an average 6-9 seconds worth of maximal rate work to around 12 seconds. CREATINE HAS NEVER BEEN ON THE BANNED LIST as it has bounded absorption. That is, if you keep taking human growth hormone then you keep absorbing it and you keep getting bigger, hence it is banned. Creatine, however, maxes out at a certain level after which you just excrete the excess. Some people have substantially higher natural levels and these people can get no benefit from creatine supplementation, whereas others who naturally store less can find themselves benefiting considerably as they supplement up to the levels that others have. In this way some have claimed creatine is an equaliser amongst sportsmen.

Creatine commonly comes in two forms, the monohydrate and the ethyl ester. The former is cheaper and tasteless but has been linked to water retention (this bloating is what lead loads of teenagers to take it ten years ago because they thought the swollen muscle was growth. This effect was what started all the bad press on Creatine). The ethyl ester is more expensive and tastes fairly repulsive. A newer form is the hydrochloride – yet more soluble and expensive. Different people claim different benefits with each. Research and make a decision on what works best for you.

Health and Safety Policy

CUAC Health and Safety Policy

1.0 Overview

1.1 It is the policy of the Cambridge University Athletic Club (CUAC) to ensure, so far as reasonably possible, the health and safety of all athletes and coaches engaged in training and competition with the club. This is within the framework of the university’s statement on general health and safety matters (Cambridge Reporter 7 Aug 1996 p 1031 and 11 Feb 1998 p382).

1.2 Ultimate responsibility for the discharge of this duty lies with the President of the club, through the safety officer who will normally be the Junior Treasurer.

1.3 Athletics as a sport requires that participants often train at different times for different events. This puts the emphasis on the individual and the smaller group when it comes to health and safety and all participants are expected to look after themselves and one another when training with and competing for the club.

1.4 CUAC is affiliated to UK Athletics, of Athletics House, 10 Harbourne Rd, Edgbaston, Birmingham. B15 3AA. It is also affiliated to the South of England Athletic Association.

1.5 It is the responsibility of the Junior Treasurer to bring the attention of all new members the club’s health and safety policy. It is the responsibility of the Captain who is not also the President to bring the attention of all club coaches to the club’s health and safety policy.

1.6 The Club health and safety policy is to be displayed on the website, and at Wilberforce Road.

1.7 The policy is to be reviewed annually, by the club safety officer in consultation with members of the committee, and presented to the CUAC committee at the start of Michaelmas term. The committee shall then approve, where appropriate, any changes, and the new policy displayed and sent to the relevant authorities.

2.0 Training

2.1 For all day to day matters of training the club’s “Code of conduct (training)” should be referred to. This document should be displayed at Wilberforce Rd with the Health and Safety and attached as the first appendix in all instances.

2.2 It is the responsibility of the Squad leaders to review the code of conduct for their own event before the end of the summer term after they have been co-opted to the committee, or within 3 weeks of appointment if co-opted at a later time.

2.3 It is the responsibility of the individual to bring to the attention of a coach or squad leader running a particular session any illness, injury, or other factor that may affect their health and safety, or that of others, during a session.

2.4 It is the responsibility of all coaches or Squad leaders taking a session to do everything reasonable to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their group and other groups training.

2.5 All such squad leaders should have their attention specifically drawn to the codes of conduct (training) at the beginning of their tenure. This should be done by the President.

3.0 Other activities

3.1 CUAC activities are defined as those which are advertised on the website or via email, announced at a club meeting, funded by the club or using club equipment.

3.2 These activities shall be bound by the Health and Safety policy of the club, and associated codes of conduct.

3.3 When organising a club trip, a plan must be left with a senior member of the committee (elected officers or the Senior Treasurer). This plan must include contact details for at least 2 members of the group taking part. All such trips should be planned by a member travelling with the party.

4.0 Committee

4.1 The club committee shall consist of those elected officers as defined by the constitution, which should be attached as an appendix to this document, and shall be chaired by the President, or in his absence the Hon. Sec. The Squad leaders are made members of the committee in this way.

4.2 Other members may be co-opted onto the committee by the President, and are bound by the Health and Safety policy and associated codes of conduct.

5.0 Accident and Incident Procedure.

5.1 In the first instance, the attached document: ‘Wilberforce Road Sports Ground, Safety Information’ will provide procedure to be followed in the event of an accident.

5.2 In most instances, the club pavilion will be open during training, and the Groundsman will be on hand to provide first aid cover. A First aid kit is available in the treatment room. A secondary first aid kit is available in the club’s under stair cupboard.

5.3 When an incident has occurred, a report must be made using the available books, located with each first aid kit. This report must be passed to the Groundsman within 24hours, or to the P.E. Department if he is not available. It should be remembered that the Data Protection Act must be followed in all circumstances.

6.0 Equipment

6.1 Club equipment may be used by all members of the club, in most cases this equipment will be used as part of a squad session and obtained from storage by the squad leaders. It is then the squad leader’s responsibility to ensure safe return of this equipment, as well as checking it is safe for use in the first instance.

6.2 It is the responsibility of the Alverstones Captain to thoroughly check all throwing equipment twice a year for safety, and complete an inventory of the same.

6.3 It is the responsibility of the Alligators Captain to thoroughly check all other club equipment twice a year for safety and complete an inventory of the same.

6.4 Any defects found in club equipment should be reported as soon as possible to the President, and removed from use as appropriate.

6.5 The secretary shall obtain the inventories from the second team captains and hold an inventory permanently for reference.

7.0 Disciplinary procedures

7.1 Any infringement of these rules will be dealt with by the President, with the Senior Treasurer and one elected committee member of their choice. If the President or Senior Treasurer is involved in such infringements, the matter shall be dealt with by the Hon. Sec in their stead.

8.0 Complaints Procedure

8.1 In the first instance, complaints should be made to the Safety Officer.

8.2 If this does not bring satisfactory conclusion, or the matter is of a particularly serious nature, the complaint may be referred to the President or Senior Treasurer.