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It is so much more than just pushing the pedals.

Call me a geek, but I love learning! I am always fascinated by new information and enjoy continuing to fill my fountain of knowledge!

So last week when the opportunity came up to participate in an Anaerobic Threshold Cycle Test, I of course put my hand up. Thanks to Steve at University of Canterbury, this was a great experience.

Steve, and his right hand helper Gemma, were very friendly and efficient from the moment I walked in the door. After everything was set up and paperwork complete, I was on the bike and underway. Steve very clearly talked me through all the stats and figures on the computer screen in front of me so I could see the changes during the period I was being tested.

The test involved cycling on a Spin Bike for approx. half an hour, during which time two key things happened every four minutes; 1) the Watts (resistance) increased, and 2) Steve took a blood sample from my finger. This sample was tested and provided key information regarding the lactate build up in my blood as the intensity of the exercise increased.

Analyzing this data in graph form provides information regarding my Aerobic Threshold and Anaerobic Threshold, and at what training intensities these occur. Knowing these zones according to my heart beat, enables me to be able to ensure my training is efficient and plan my sessions better so they are as effective and beneficial as possible in the build up to my event.

So now with this new knowledge, this past week I’ve made sure I am always wearing my watch and HR monitor, and my sessions have an added level of interest as I work hard to hit my training zones, and monitor my heart rate, to ensure the time I am dedicating to training is effective, and not wasted. If you are going to commit to an event, make sacrifices in your day and dedicate time to training, then that precious time may as well be used to its full potential!

I am not an elite athlete, nor am I aiming to place during the Velothon event, but I still want to give it my best shot. And when I set a goal I commit to it 110% and take the training and preparation seriously. So for me, these awesome opportunities to learn more about what I am doing, how it is affecting my body and how I can train effectively during every session are exciting and enjoyable. Plus they make the overall journey even more rewarding and fulfilling!

Penelope Watson
Team CP Sports Coach
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