Friday, March 6, 2009

Upsetting Test Results

Recently I've been participating in a cycling study being performed by WADA, and tonight's test involved a gradient VO2 Max test, a Wingate test, as well as a body composition analysis. 

I'm a little frustrated with the results of the night to say the least. I don't have any of the raw data but I'll explain why.

The study write up said they were looking for male cyclist, capable of holding 40kph for a 20k TT, with a VO2 of 55 or higher, and non asthmatic. 

Non asthmatic, check / VO2 of 68, check / 40kph TT; hmmm, ok.

The only thing that really concerned me was the 20k TT result. I knew I was within seconds of that, but who knows on one of those computrainers.

So tonights testing I started off with the Wingate, it hurt, its never pleasant, but I don't know how I did. I'll learn the result next week when she e-mails them to me. Then I had a gradient VO2 max test (resistance increases by 1 Watt every 2 seconds, same as last test). In the VO2 max test my heart rate was having trouble getting up there, but I ended up breaking at 380 Watts. The test ended when you are no longer pedaling at 80 rpm or higher (the last study it was 60rpm).

So not only did I put out more power, but at higher RPM than last time, I was pleased with this improvement. 

However, I was told I wasn't strong enough for the study. I was a little confused by this. I fit pretty much everything they were asking.

Well, turns out, they wanted the TT effort to be at sustained 300 Watts, and if thats impossible then 275-280 minimum (but thats already not ideal). What's ridiculous about this is that if I were to hold 300 Watts, I would be going 45-48kph, way above their target zone. The study didn't account for body weight, so being a nice buck forty, although my power to weight ratio is ok, my max sustainable power just wasn't there. Kinda made me wonder about WADA for a bit.

And what's even more frustrating about this is the way the tester acted, she clearly realized midway through my test that I wasn't going to reach the right target zone for their testing, and her enthusiasm just disappeared, clearly now I was just wasting her time. She looked over the results really quickly, and when I asked her what something meant, she gave me a smug answer with the reply "I couldn't explain it to you, thats 3 years of schooling". Really because I got the impression you were just looking at the ratio of oxygen intake to absorption, but hey. And she concluded to say that my threshold was 180 watts, and that this is probably about the max I could sustain for a 30 minute TT, and that if I trained it, I could push through the pain and maybe hit 210. I wanted to correct her and point out that I've done a 1 hour TT at 240 watts but she clearly didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore so I decided to hold off.

The worst part of this whole situation was the way she acted like I was wasting her time, didn't she realize she contacted us looking for volunteers and I've changed all my schedule to help her out. Sure I would be getting something out of it, but she needs subjects more than I need the data. A little thanks would have been nice. 

All this to say I wasn't too impressed with her professionalism, and if this is any impression of how WADA runs, I'm not surprised people complain so much about them.

So oh well, I will not be continuing the study, but got a free VO2 max test and Wingate. 

I'll give a full post with results when I get them next week.


MJ said...

That sounds incredibly irritating. I could just picture her.

Good luck to her finding all those subjects... if you're not close she's going to have a pretty ridiculously hard time finding LOTS that are much better.

Vincent said...

yeah, she needs 40 subjects between here and Victoria, so far I was number 9

RunningLaur said...

Wow, may she'll come crawling back once she kicks everyone else out. Her standards seem way too high!
At least you had some free test results though.

Ulyana said...

Wow, that sucks! And you are 9th. Good luck to her.

Jeremy Hopwood said...

would agree that sucks and obviously has a a poor understanding of the power to weight ratio's.

Also 80 cadence is quite a high number considering this is what Ulrich used to TT at.

Good Luck at UBC if you are racing