Dec 11, 2008


This week I've been a guinea pig for a researcher at Stellenbosch University's Sport Performance Institute (SUSPI). The researcher is studying the optimal way to recover after high intensity sessions (ice baths vs swimming pool vs active recovery). The only down side is the very early morning starts!

The first day involved the VO2Max test which basically involves riding yourself into the ground whilst having all manner of things measured and fingers pricked for lactate readings. By the end I wanted to puke but managed to hold on. Having established a baseline, today was the 100k time trial but unfortunately the computer crashed so I've got to go back to do that bit again.

This is a great study and really beneficial to myself as the first set of tests are to establish a baseline prior to undertaking the scientifically controlled 100k time trial in the lab. The key benefit for me is that I received a detailed report containing information regarding fitness levels and performance capacities such as:
• aerobic capacity (VO2max),
• power to weight ratio (climbing ability),
• lactate threshold at power output and heart rate,
• anaerobic ability (sprinting ability) and
• cycling efficiency.
I've also been given a thorough breakdown of my optimal heart rate zones which are now programmed into my heart rate monitor ready for my rides. This is great as the Polar training programme gives generic heart rate zones but now I have personal zones based on scientific data. Brilliant!

I'll not bore you with the details but I now have some vital info which will help me train much much smarter which is far better than training harder!

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