Since a few weeks I get a personalized training schedule made by my coach Jimprove. He is helping me so I can work on my personal goals. One of them is racing criteriums on elite woman level. It includes making hours on the bike and pushing watts. To let Jimprove make a specific training program I need to know what my capabilities are. Besides getting medical data it is important that I know if my body is capable to do races like this. Is my heart working well, are my lungs functioning well? It is very important to know before you are going to do though workouts to get to your goals. So these where my reasons to get a performance test at the Sports Medical Centre at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in ‘s Hertogenbosch.
I made the appointment, which was very easy. I made a call and told them I wanted a performance test including a pulmonary-function test and an electrocardiogram scan (ECG). Of course, the woman on the other side of the phone knew what I was talking about. But some of you maybe need some extra information.
Let’s start with the easiest thing. The performance test takes 30 minutes in which you ride your bike and every 10 seconds the wattage goes up with 5W. You may know this test as ramptest. You need to keep pedaling the same speed and/or cadence until your legs can’t push the watts anymore. A pulmonary function test is a test to check if your lungs are ok and an ECG is a short film they make of your heart to see if there are any deviations in rest or when being active.
After 2 days of rest, only 2 easy spins to relax the muscles, it was test day! I went to the Sports Medical Centre with my bike. I needed to set up the bike in a special device to connect it with the equipment of the hospital. Time to meet the doctor. He asked me a few questions about me and my sport goals and checked my lungs with a tetoscoop. When he did know me a little bit better and didn’t hear crazy noises coming from my lungs it was testing time.
First I did some test to get general data like weight, length, fat percentage and blood pressure. The doctor’s assistant took all of the measurements. The next step was the pulmonary-function test. It starts with a big device I needed to put in my mouth. I wasn’t allowed to breath through my nose, to prevent this I got a blocker on my nose. I needed to breath in and out several times, and then one big breath in and one big breath out. I had to continue breathing out as long as possible. I did it 3 times, the best result was going to be used for the data.
Thereafter I had to lay down. The assistant did put electrodes on my body in the area around my heart. These electrodes registered the movement of my heart in rest. After this test I had to mount my bike for the performance test. The electrodes were still attached to my body, now for registrating my heart in motion. I also got a mask on my face. This was for registrating data of my breath and last but not least I got a heart rate sensor and a blood pressure device on my finger and arm. There where no secrets left for the doctor and his assistant. It was time to start the test. First everything was easy, just pedaling around and waiting for more watts. After some minutes I was already breathing heavier and the legs were working hard. When it took more effort and I reached my functional threshold point (FTP), my upper body was also moving and with my legs. It looked like I was climbing the Stelvio. Something to work on! After reaching my FTP my legs were getting heavy and I was breathing for more oxygen. I tried to hold on for longer and pushed myself to the limit until I reached that point my legs couldn’t push any more watts.
After a cooling down and quick shower, it was time to meet the doctor again. He received all data from the tests and shared the results with me. He showed all graphics and told me if I was healthy or gave me tips to work on several points.
I already got a lot of questions of how I was doing and especially what my VO2max is. I decided to not share this information directly, but I will just tell you on what point I need to perform better. This is because I don’t want judgment.
First of all, the test went very well. After a year with up’s and downs and winter without training, I can say I’m happy to be back working out and riding my bike. After the test, I know that I’m not starting from zero, but I’m already halfway. The test results are showing that there is still work to do, but in a normal schedule as this is the start of next season. The results of my heart were very good. There were no abnormalities. The percentage of my fat was a bit high, or actually just high. I definitely need to take eating healthy more seriously, but I also think that long rides will make a difference. My VO2max was (very) good. Especially for endurance sports.
I’m happy with the results and that I’m healthy. If I continue working out and eat healthily, I’ll be ready for next season!
Do you want more information about the tests I’ve done? Take a look at: www.smcjbz.nl
If you make an appointment for the same test as I did, you get 10% discount with the code: LISE2020JUNI