I recently spent the week at the GSK Human Performance Labs taking part in a recovery nutrition study. I was tested using the same bike that Chris Froome used for his eagerly anticipated fitness testing data release that is due on 3rd December in Esquire magazine.
The study I took part in was looking into the effects of a combined aerobic and strength training program and if a different recovery strategy is required to that of just aerobic or strength training alone. An interesting topic and very poignant with a lot of world tour level cyclists carrying out gym work on top of their usual training miles.
It’s an amazing facility down in Brentford worth a reported £10m and has been graced with many elite sports people. The likes of the Brownlee Brothers, Jensen Button, Chris Froome and many more have been put through their paces there.
It’s run by great people and everyone was so friendly which always makes being battered around on a lab bike much more bearable!
The most interesting part of the study for me was that it was food controlled. Which means no coffee :’( No alcohol and to only consume meals delivered by ‘Soul Mate Food’. They were calorie and macro controlled to make sure all participants followed as similar a diet as possible. Anyone who is super busy and doesn’t have time to cook healthy food should check these guys out… it was probably the healthiest week of my life!
Now whilst i'm knowhere near the calibre or weight of Chris Froome, i'm 93kg and he is ~68kg, I wanted to put my data out there as well to see how a British Cycling Category 2 racer compares to the best in the world. The following table is from a submaximal threshold test with lactate readings taken every 4 minutes. It is intended to determine your lactate turn point and therefore functional threshold power (FTP)... or 60 minute best effort power.
Those with a keen eye for this will notice that the test finished just as I was reaching my lactate turnpoint and the readings of 2.58mmol are lower than would usually be expected at FTP. For this reason i'm going back next week to repeat the test and make sure we got it right.
FTP is used to determine your training power zones and therefore how accurate you can make your training. The more accuracy you can achieve in training the more likely your body is to make the right adaptions for your event... that is if you've been set the right training plan!