So, Thursday was kinda a big day for me. First up I had some physiology testing with the good people at ERA. They were set to measure my VO2 Max, blood lactate levels, skin folds, and a whole bunch of other stuff. They'd also set my training zones out for me, so I can target those zones more effectively and train smarter rather than harder. All pretty cool stuff. But first I had to take the test. And let me tell you, sitting on a stationary bike with all manner of ridiculous head-and-face-wear attached to you isn't the easiest or most comfortable way to push pedals until you no longer can. I'm pretty sure I nearly blacked out at one point. Unconsciousness is obviously the desired outcome, however, because the assistant was pretty impressed by my results.
Second up was a long drive to Geelong to see John Hine at Cycle Edge Coaching Consultancy for some bike set-up hints and tips. My new coach had just given me his number and not mentioned any of his history - like the picture on the wall of John at the Olympics, or his win at the Warny in 1980 (looking at my track bike he casually stated, "Hmmm, yeah, I won the Warny on a track bike one year. Broke my road bike the week before and couldn't get it fixed in time..."). He also has a long history of coaching AIS and VIS athletes - definitely one of those quiet old guys who have been in cycling forever and have accumulated more knowledge than I could ever comprehend. As well as the set-up tips he gave me a whole bunch of pointers on breathing and pedalling technique, some of which may have come in handy that morning, but my favourite of which I'll share with you here:
"Every time you breathe in you want to make a little air baby with your abdomen."
Yes, that's right. I went all the way to Geelong to make myself an air baby.