I recently wrote to Southampton Solent University’s Applied Sports Science department to enquire if they would be interested in using my upcoming event for a case study. The response was better than I could have imaged. They invited me to look around their impressive facility and they outlined what they had in mind for me.
They will be playing a massive part in my training and support up to and during my 52 events next year. I think this will become an ongoing blog spot as their support grows. They are talking about supporting me with
- Sports Nutrition
- Sports Psychology
All this while getting a wealth of data from
- Body composite tests
- Vo2max tests
- Lactate Threshold test
- Heart rate monitoring
- Cadence monitoring
- Power outputs monitoring
- Speed monitoring
- And much more
Today was the first assessment, I had the initial body tests and then moved on to the cycle lactate threshold/Vo2 max cycle test. After doing nowhere near enough training since last July I knew today’s results were never going to be great, but we will just take them as a benchmark and move forward.
They took the usual information down
- Blood pressure
Then they put me in what can only be described as the spaceship Mork came to earth in, from the show Mork and Mindy (Ok I know this shows my age!) This egg looking machine was to workout my body composite. I had to sit inside as each test basically displaces the air to calculate fat and lean tissue levels (view a test at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZs5eiZOwNs). I have been told they will go over all my results next week, however this is one I’m happy not to know, as I’m sure it’s not good!! Saying that I will work my backside off (literally) to make sure it goes down.
The cycle assessment started with me riding at around 90 rpm while wearing a mask so they can measure my Vo2 levels. Every three minutes they took a blood sample and increased the power levels. I basically had to keep riding for as long as I could before something gave up. From the data I took I lasted over 20 mins and almost completed the 275 watt section before needing to slow. Again the data I took shows my heart rate slowly increasing over the test to a max of 190 bpm.
The information taken today will be added with the data they get from Tuesday’s run assessment so they can work out a training plan for me. I then get to work hard until later in the year when we redo the tests again and see the improvement levels.
I would like to thank the team for their support and enthusiasm. As I have mentioned in the past it doesn’t feel right when people call me an athlete, but these guys are making me feel like I have made team GB. Not bad for a big lad!