Today we had our first taste of the testing that we will be going through during our two month stay in Premanon. I'll be honest, I did not think much of this before coming here, but now I can see that my time here may become quite the mental challenge. We have a schedule that divides everyone into different types of tests at various times, all of which are performed just over the border in a Swiss hospital. Today I did the CO-rebreathing test. This test is intended to measure the total hemoglobin mass in a person's blood, a number that is useful to know for athletes.
CO test. Thanks for the photo, Ian!
The test involves breathing into an oxygen-rebreather(similar to what astronauts and scuba-divers use) that is injected with a set-amount of carbon monoxide gas(CO). You may be wondering... Yes, CO is poisonous, but the dosage is very small and only induces some tiredness and slight dizziness. Blood samples are taken before and at the end of the 8 minutes of CO breathing and are intended to show the concentration of CO and thus, through the magic of science, the total hemoglobin mass. Looking back, this test doesn't seem too bad, but at the time it was pretty uncomfortable.
Quiet roads through the countryside.
The good thing about all the time that will be spent doing tests in a hospital is that it will make me appreciate the riding, fun, and relaxation even more. Oh, and I'll probably learn an incredible amount about my body along the way! Speaking of riding, today's ride was super fun! Ian Terry, Adam from Denmark, and I rode some amazing roads before I peeled off and did some exploring in a different area. Many of the roads seemed more like golf cart paths than roads, seeming to twist and turn endlessly through forests and meadows!
Lots of moo-cows = lots of fromage!
Tomorrow morning's test is the sub-max time trial and it sounds like it will be a real challenge. More to come...