(I’ve written this 3 times now.. Thanks WP for android!)
So Wednesday was the last day in the lab.. And regardless or what I said before…
It was placebo day.
During the run I’m asked a serious or questions at regular intervals:
Perceived exhertion 1-20 (I think)
Need to: pass out, urinate, belch etc..
How I feel +5 (good) – -5(bad)
The previous week I was on it… Yeh I feel a +5 for feeling ace!!
So the trial as it goes breaks down into 8 segments over the 2 hours,each around 15 minutes each. These are then broken into further segments of 8 minutes each (making 16 segments overall).
A segment is roughly 8 minutes running, then I stop, take a 250ml solution – which I presumed this time to be just water), pop a VO2 measurement mask on and run a further 8 minutes. After that, mask off, Blood sample, rinse and repeat.
Then after that its a 5km time trial at my own pace (perceived 70% of VO2max), which at altitude is roughly 9km/hr, oh and wearing the mask for the entire thing.
Then this week rolls up… A normal start… First hour in, and I had to pee, I was also asked to measure it in a jug (more on it that soon!).. Then before I know it..2 hours are up..(another pee).
So straight to the time trial… I started running it.. Mask on… And it perhaps took minutes to realise I wasn’t right..
Classic sign of poor nutrition.. I had nothing in me.
1km in and starting at the wall, 2km in.. Then I got the nod for 2.5.. During the trial I’d never been giving the .5km nod… They clearly knew I was feeling rubbish…
By kilometer 3 I was feeling rough as… And very much contemplating walking… As it happens that from behind the think glass that separated me from them… They thought I was about to!
Kilometer 4 arrived.. The mask I was wearing was not only being held up by my face.. But also my ropes and elastic bands on the ceiling to take the weight.. By km 4…they were also holding my head up… They soon snapped and I was free to put my head down and die a little more inside….
Jamie, the assistant in the chamber ended up helping to hold the tubes coming out of the mask to take the weight. Followed by a
“Run properly and the weight will be fine” from Nicola, the PhD student.. Thing is, I couldn’t lift my head….
.5 to go.
Out of what I can only presume was adrenaline… I managed to crank the speed and smash the last 500m…
Its over… My head went down… My arm out for more blood samples, and I probably swore a bit too..
I’m sure there was more to this.. But straight onto why I got my pee measured!
Nicola wanted to cover hydration/dehydration on her thesis, to which everything will all now become clear…
I was weighed pre and post exercise, and actually lost virtually a kilo during exercise – which we’ll just call 1L of fluid.
So my wee measurements were 110ml after an hour and then a 290ml 1 hour later.
During the two hours of running I’d consumed 2.4L of fluid, subtracting the 400ml lost to urine, that brings us to 2L
So had I only lost this 2L of fluid, my weight shouldn’t have moved, but as I lost that extra kilo, it turns out that I actually lost 3L of fluids through sweating, which happens to be around 1% (ish)… The expected amount.
But this amount or fluid lost clearly highlights the importance of keeping hydrated during exercise. I personally have been stupid enough to not go out with either; enough water or enough ‘fuel’.
I can tell you its a horrible feeling, and your brain will do everything to stay Alive and stop you exercising…. Hallucinations, mental and physical barriers to name a few!
So lessons learnt, drink more, fuel properly… Even though I was in a controlled environment, the effects that has in the the real world are very much the same!
Don’t be that guy.
(I think that was all of it!)