Test subject 001.
Tonight I had a meeting with Loughborough Uni. And so starts the long project.
When I originally had the idea of doing this project, I was still in the post summer peak form bubble. At that point, I would have bought a one way ticket to Edinburgh with a saddle bag and a few supplies and headed to London St Pancras to get a train home. As winter has crept in and the task of riding that distance is looking more of a challenge, I can take stock and start planning with some more realistic and scientific goals (but if it wasn’t for the bits of modern life, I’d love to just “do this” solo with a Carradice and a debit card).
To make this work, I’m aware that physically I’m going to change and mentally there are going to be so rough patches. To make this easier(?) or at least more valuable, I’ve offered to hand over all of my training plans, GPX tracks, data, analysis and so on to the Sports Science team at Loughborough Uni. In exchange, they are going to case study me, prod, poke, measure, analyse, biopsy, nudge me, guide, scan me, skinfold test me, test me some more, exhaust me, VO2 max me, threshold me…… the lot. All in the name of science. As this is a case study with a test sample size of one, the approach is very much more geared towards seeing how my physiology, performance and biochemistry changes over the coming months and miles rather than the effect of X, Y or Z on me. In exchange for being a human guinea pig and potential pincushion on wheels, they are willing to aid me in training plan choices, nutritional guidance, share my data to see where and how I’m improving and what I can do to keep improving and ease some of the pain. The scientist in me wants to do this. The athlete (I’m not sure if I can justify that name) in me wants to make sure I’m doing the right thing and not falling for broscience or changing room myths that’ll set me back.
I haven’t named my contacts with Loughborough as this is early days of the project and we have a lot of work to do. Without their explicit consent, I’d prefer not to name them (yet).