With exactly one year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympics, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee have entered the GSK Human Performance Lab for a full day of assessments – including the dreaded heat tolerance test.
Described as one of the most important tools that Team GB athletes have at their disposal over the next 12 months, the enviro chamber replicates temperature conditions up to 55°C and all the way down to -25°C, and can also control the amount of oxygen available to athletes – simulating air conditions close to the height of Everest (8,848m).
The tests enabled GSK scientists to gauge how the Brownlees respond to their environment when working hard, including measuring their individual sweat rate and electrolyte losses as well as the thermal impact by monitoring core body and skin temperature.
Alistair said: “Coming to a place like this is about getting the fine details right. When it comes to the Olympic Games you want to prepare in the best way possible for the event, covering all eventualities. One of those eventualities is that it could be very hot and humid so that’s what we’ve been working on here. Preparing for Rio conditions where hydration and nutrition strategies will be absolutely key to our performance.”
The Rio test event took place just a few days ago, and Alistair started off very strongly before a recurrence of his niggling ankle injury forced him to ease off, finishing 10th. Jonny meanwhile sat out the test event due to a femoral stress fracture on his left leg – he hopes to be back racing in time for the WTS Grand Final in Chicago on 20 September.