MICHAEL LOVATO | Professional Triathlete




Big Update

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Whoa! Now I’m back to my evil ways… no updates for an entire month! I have to say that this was totally unintentional: go figure! I’m here again, and I just wanted to thank you, the faithful, for checking in, despite my lack of updates.

I do realize that many of you have been keeping up with my wife, the superior blogger, so at least I rest easy knowing the readers are informed.

Now to the recap…

…bum, bum, bum…

…July ended with a bang. After attending Ironman Lake Placid, and watching Amanda’s race fall to pieces at the hands of a flat tire (that I wasn’t allowed to help change), I traveled to a Chicago suburb called Barrington. Right there in Barrington, there exists a place called the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, and my friends at Multisports.com invited me to attend their GSSI camp. The goal of the camp was to determine athletes’ sweat rates, sweat composition, and overall ability to handle training and racing in Hawaii-like conditions.

What a great experience it was! I arrived on Thursday evening, and we began the festivities on Friday with an easy swim with stroke analysis, a bike ride, and a run with a fun group of campers.

The highlight of day two was our arrival at GSSI for a VO2 max test on the treadmill. And by highlight, I mean the most painful part of the day. The expert team of scientists needed to know at what percentage of our max we would be working during our grueling test on day three, thus the test. I have to admit that the sick and twisted part of me really enjoyed running on a treadmill as the technicians ramped up the speed and gradient. Ouch.

The highlight of day three, and again I mean the most painful part of the day, was four hours of indoor exercising. And by exercising I mean training our butts off in oppressively hot and humind conditions for four hours.

The idea was to ride our own bikes (my next post will spill the beans on my new ride for Hawaii!) on a computrainer for two hours. We were allowed to select our own effort, but along the way, the incredible team working with us took our blood samples several times, they took sweat-filled patches off our dripping bodies, and they handed us any and all fluids or foods we needed to continue.

Upon completion of the ride, we weighed in (again), we peed in cups (again), and we gave blood samples (again). Next up was the two hours of running on the treadmill. This was something that seemed very daunting, but I was drawn to the painful lure of hamsterdom. Yes, hamsterdom is now a word. I was hamsterlike.

The same routine was dupicated on the run. We gave numerous blood samples (to test our sodium levels throughout); we noted our perceived exertion and heart rate; they tested our core body temperatures (using a fancy radio thermometer which we swallowed in pill form); and they fed us everything we needed. And we needed a lot!

I lost count of the bottles I consumed somewhere about the 75min mark of the run. Around that time, I also had to jump off briefly, as the crew helped dry off the treadmill. It was so saturated with sweat that I was slipping with each footfall. I have never seen this much sweat come off my body at one time. In all my Austin summers, in all my days in Kona, and in every visit to St. Croix, I have never seen this much sweat.

We concluded the day with more blood draws, more weighing, and more peeing. It was an amazingly precise experiment, and every drop of fluid was accounted for. We left the lab, all of us, anxious to see what these guys put together as our results file. It takes a couple weeks, as they factor in every detail, including our most recent training conditions (to determine our level of acclimation to heat and humidity).

It truly was a pleasure to be involved in this experiment, and I’d again like to thank Multisports.com and GSSI for including me. With the knowledge I obtained from the top-notch lectures, and with the amazing amount of information I expect we will receive, I am sure I’ll be heading to Hawaii just that much better prepared!

Thanks for tuning in!

1 Comment(s)

Cody the Clydesdale on 8/11/07 said:

Looking foreward to seeing what those mad scientists can do with such a gifted athlete. looking foreward to reading how training for Kona is going for ya. Good luck.

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