Lee Charles Physiology Testing at Loughborough University


A significant part of understanding how to improve an athlete’s performance is understanding their strengths and weaknesses. For that, we use the top-class facilities of Loughborough University, one of the leading sport science facilities in the world. Based on the campus are numerous national federations and you would be unlucky not to bump into an Olympian or two on a short walk around the site.

In this one, we are only looking at how his bike training has been going since Kona 2018.

Before being coached by me, Lee had traditionally done a lot of solid Sweet Spot Training and embraced a high fat lower-carb diet.  After taking on his coaching (and without the advantages of being able to see what’s what in the lab), we had decided that we needed to raise his ‘ceiling’ — increasing his higher-end capacity to provide room for FTP and FatMax to improve.

FatMax for those who don’t know is the highest rate at which you can burn fats a fuel source.  However, the intensity this occurs at is significant too.  You can have a moderate rate of fat metabolism (0.5g/min), and it could be at a reasonably low intensity, or it could be quite high.  The interaction of the RATE and INTENSITY at which it occurs is beneficial.

You can see in the pictures below, Rhona has fitted the online gas analyser (metabolic cart) and we are performing the tests in his TT position.  In many labs, you are allowed to choose your position, and most people will want to sit up.

How often do you race like that? If the answer is alot, then we probably have more significant problems!

I want to know what his metabolic efficiency and power is like in the TT position.

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