I recently had a fitness assessment done at the Human Performance Lab at Meredith College in Raleigh. It was a fairly interesting procedure and I think that it will be beneficial. It started off with an interesting questionnaire that was sent the week before the testing. They asked about perceived lactate threshold before doing the testing. They assessment can be done for biking or running. Obviously, I did the biking one.
How it worked
You bring your own bike and they put it on a trainer and set you up with an oxygen mask and heart rate monitor. After a ten minute warm up, they set the trainer up for 100 watts with you going at a constant cadence (no shifting allowed) for three minutes. At the end of three minutes they get your pulse and a small blood sample from your ear and increase the wattage. In my case, they want to 130 for three minutes and then 160, 190, 220 and finally 250. I completed the three minutes at 250 watts.
What were the results
While I changed back to street cloths, they calculated the results and then we discussed them. From there, I send them to Maya the Virtual Coach and we'll use them in conjunction with perceived exhertion chart to better tune my training. The thing that I probably found most interesting is what I'll call the "junk zone." Basically, the T1 zone for me is 165-176 bpm where I am neither efficient nor working hard enough to improve. That means that generally I should be below 165 bpm or above 176.
The other result was more or less expected. A small weight loss would move me towards ideal body composition for endurance sports. I kind of expected that but it still kind of sucks. I'm going to see a sports nutritionist a few times to help with that.