This week I had the pleasure of having lactate and VO2 testing done at the new Endurance PTC center in San Francisco. The center is only a week old, but already their spin classes are filling up. It’s easy to see why; the facility is equipped with Computrainers for all, so you can train to your own wattage. Furthermore, they do testing on all their members, including a consultation afterwards, so that you can figure out exactly where you need to train in order to attain your goals.
Loren Pokorny showed me into the new Endurance labs. I was set up on a Velotron and allowed to warm-up for the first test. A lactate test is pretty simple, they have you ride at a specific wattage for 6 minutes, then they prick your ear to measure the amount of lactic acid in your blood, raise the wattage and continue until your lactate levels go off the charts.
I also did a VO2 max test that was a little harder, but not as long. It’s hard to ride a bike all out with a tube in your mouth. After my testing I met with Matt, who helped me interpret my results.
I finished around lunch time, and asked Lara Brown, a 70.3 pro who races for Endurance, if I could tag along for lunch. We went to Togo with another guy that introduced himself as Max and had an Italian accent. He seemed extremely knowledgeable and was easy to talk to. It was a full ten minutes later when Lara asked Max how his athletes were doing in the Tour, that I realized I was having lunch with Dr. Massimo Testa, sports medicine doctor of Lance Armstrong, Chris Lieto, and a bundle of other great athletes. This was the first of many star struck moments for me. Chris Lieto came to give a talk at Endurance to prepare the athletes for Vineman this weekend. He also did a lactate test, but he allowed people to watch his testing. I won’t give details, but I will say that boy can ride. Inside Triathlon has an article this month about Chris’s bike racing as a training technique. It must work.
The second day I did the same lactate test, only this time I was running. My curve came out very different, which was interesting. Afterwards I was able to talk to Max about the results, and he was very helpful. I think it’s going to take a few days to absorb all the information that I’ve been presented with, and I’m glad they wrote it down for me.
After the testing I was able to go for a drink with the entire Endurance staff. Every one of them is an amazing athlete, and I’m really happy to have met them. If you’re even in San Francisco, or if you’re lucky enough to live in the area, Endurance PTC is a must visit. There’s no doubt in my mind that Matt Dixon and the rest of the Endurance crew can improve anyone’s performance dramatically.