- Posted by Mike Hawkins
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With my name down to take part in the Rad am Ring 24hr relay race, courtesy of Porsche UK, along with Chris, Henry and Bradley on September 1-2, I had to get my bike and myself up to Silverstone and the Human Performance Centre for a fitness test, before going out for a first ride with the guys.
A quick look around the centre with all its sleek racing cars and automotive exotica certainly passed the time while waiting for the test to get started - a time that is normally filled with trepidation, for me at least, at the impending effort.
Once the static SRM bike was set up to my geometry, Chris ran through the test protocol one last time. Starting at 150watts, each step lasted three minutes before the blood sample was taken and the target wattage increasing by 25watts for the next three-minute block.
As it turned out the test itself was straightforward and not nearly as bad as my memory of previous ones. The results though were somewhat lower than I'd hoped to see, and I started to question what I was doing.
Aerobic Threshold 150 bpm and 240 watts - Lactate Threshold 165 bpm and 285 watts
Next up was a Body Composition scan. This is a highly detailed test that measures fat, muscle, bone and water composition in your body. There's far too much detail to go into here but some of the key areas it covers include skeletal muscle mass and mineral content, plus of course various fat levels.
Having been disappointed by my ramp test results I pulled myself together overnight and set out on my bike to at least make the most of what I've got. On my long steady Saturday ride I mentally plotted a route that might emulate the Nurburgring. I'd been told that laps took 45 minutes on average and contained 500m of climbing, so that's what I headed out to replicate, once before breakfast, again before lunch and yet again before dinner. By the evening I was so shattered I knocked the night lap on the head.
The body scanner doesn't lie
Next day I was tired; on Tuesday I had a sore throat; by Wednesday it was a raging head cold and Thursday I could barely get off the sofa, so perhaps I over did it. I then spent the next week feeling very sorry for myself but at least it provided me with a chance to plan how we should attack the racing laps...
Check out: Porsche's human performance centre
Event details: www.radamring.de
Check out Mike's first installment here: Rad am Ring 24hr preparation part one