Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lab Rat

One of my riding partners is a sports physiology professor at a local liberal arts college. He is doing a research project on the reliability of a new bicycle ergonometer and was looking for test subjects. Most of the test subjects know each other from either local shop rides or from the local racing scene. I decided to join the fray.

Each of the four sessions would be conducted in the college's Integrative Physiology Laboratory and would consist of a quick fit adjustment, a 15 minute warm-up, then an 8 mile uphill time trial (w/VO2 checks at 10 and 20 minutes), followed by a cool down.

They will be monitoring our heart rate (HR), cadence (rpm), power output (watts), speed, time, and VO2. The first three sessions are on the same exact course the final session is a VO2max test. This is where you exercise until failure which is not particularly enjoyable.

Round One: It was harder than I expected. I didn't feel great coming into it today and I brought my family along - so it was like a three-ring circus in the lab and hard to concentrate.

Stats: 35:29, Averaged 316 Watts, 99 rpm cadence, and 176 HR.

Round Two: The circus was in North Carolina this week, so I was better prepared and more able to focus. I improved over round one with a faster time, higher power output, higher cadence all at a lower average HR.
Stats: 34:10, averaged 332 watts, 102 rpm cadence, and 172 HR.

Round Three As you can see I wore my Easter best for this test - theory being that pink is the fastest color. This time I focused on Watts rather than cadence, trying to stay above 340 Watts at all times. Definitely didn't feel as good as round two, but managed to power through with a slightly faster time - 8 seconds faster to be exact.
Stats: 34:02, averaged 334 watts, ? cadence, ? average HR

Only the bod pod and the VO2max testing remains......... next week.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I think it was the different jersey that made the difference