Testing, Testing, 1 2 3

Elite athletes get tested in the off season so they and other elite athletes can become more elite. Russell is at a lab in Premanon


After the jet lag passed I’ve found the groove in this place. We eat at certain times as a group, all 25+ of us including staff. Each day thus far we have been tested in a lab about 14 miles away. So far it’s one of three tests; CO2 re-breathing (yes, CO2 like what comes out of a car’s tail pipe), VO2 max test, and a 30k Time Trail on a trainer that includes a wind gate test. So far none are super tough although I haven’t done the TT yet. We will do 6 VO tests and 8 TT’s so i’m sure we’l be well drilled soon. Just today some of us get our first of two muscle biopsy’s. I can hear the rumblings in the hall ways right now, not good. Some folks are in serous pain. Some not so much. I get mine tomorrow. Not stoked on that…

I’ve done two Vo2 max tests and both were the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The second one was worse because Nurse Ratchet delivered the test and started texting her nurse homies 1/2 way through it. She ignored my bulged eyes when I glared at her trying to indicate a bonk was imminent. Her attention snapped back to the task at hand, when my eyes rolled back in my head, Undertaker style, and I did my best Linda Blair-exorcist grimace. She finally turned the torturous Vo2 contraption off after I slapped at the phone in her hand. Never went back to that lab, but hope they’ve got new, “no texting while testing rules” in place after my experience.

Even without a disinterested nurse attending you, the test is uncomfortable because the air is dry and seers your lungs. To simulate the test on your commute next week, do this:

  1. Ride as hard as you can on the bike path
  2. Return home
  3. Rush into the bathroom
  4. Turn hair dryer on low
  5. Put the nuzzle it in your mouth and breathe deep until you get dizzy.

You won’t get the numbers to determine how fit you are for the next big Bike to Work effort, but you will better understand that Pro athletes are genetically qualified to go fast. They also suffer far more. This is their day job.


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