Simon the Lab Rat

Readers of the ii News may recall that last December, I volunteered to be part of a study on VO2max (i.e. cardio and cycling) at the Human Performance Lab (HPL) at the University of Calgary.

A month or so ago, Danilo emailed me again, asking if I would be part of another study and I said yes. Today was the third session of five. The first two sessions were “ramp tests” which established my limits. They were hard, but the hard part was the last three minutes or so out of about 50.

Today was the first of the study sessions, where they had a protocol to follow. I talked to Kenny last week about this study. He’s in my cycling club and was taking part in the same study. He had already done the ramp tests and now was doing the study. He warned me that the ramp test was the easy part. He was right.

Today it was a couple minutes of easy, a couple minutes of medium, then a short period of higher effort. Then they measured a six-second sprint (all out). Then 30 minutes at what I think was slightly above my lactic threshold to fatigue me. Then they repeated the sprint. And finally, the piece the resistance: they set the higher effort and then I had to go until exhaustion. All the while pricking my finger to measure lactic acid and asking me questions about my mental, physical and emotional state.

What do you think my state was?

About two minutes from the end of the 30 minute fatigue session

Then I had to ride home. If Tammy hadn’t been working tonight I would have asked her to pick me up.

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