Pupils from Cundall Manor School recently visited the University of Sunderland in order to understand how research and data can help athletes get the edge on their competition.
Over 20 pupils visited the university’s Human Performance Lab and performed a series of tests aimed at identifying baseline performance data and how it impacts on performance.
Science teacher and cycling fan, Chris Kirby, even volunteered to undergo the strenuous VO2 max test which calculates maximal oxygen consumption, a test that was recently performed by two times Tour de France winner Chris Froome at the GSK Human Performance Lab.
The trip was organised by science teacher at Cundall Manor School, Jenny Roberts.
Jenny said the purpose of the test was to identify maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and lactate threshold, both key indicators of endurance performance and peak power output.
Jenny said: “Chris compares really well but unfortunately all measures are relative to body mass.
“Chris Froome has a huge advantage being so much smaller and lighter – body mass makes a huge difference when to have to carry it a long way and move it against gravity up a big mountain!”
The tests focussing on aerobic physiology in addition to body composition were carried out by pupils and allowed them to see how scientific research can impact on performance on the field or road.
The teenagers from the school really enjoyed the visit and would like to thank the university for their hospitality.