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Results on health and fitness at endurance event

By Leanne Miles

Final year Exercise and Sports Science student Sarah Guajardo has been working in the lab to provide further information to participants Final year Exercise and Sports Science student Sarah Guajardo has been working in the lab to provide further information to participants

The results are in for participants of this year’s Gran Fondo endurance cycling race involved in a research project facilitated by Charles Darwin University staff and students as part of the two-day event in August.

Exercise and Sports Science lecturer Dr Daniel Gahreman said the research team had worked with a range of competitors from elite athletes to those participating in the race for health and fitness.

“We had an overwhelming response from participants to be involved in workshops as part of the event,” Dr Gahreman said. “They have now received an information pack with the results of their tests, which will give them detailed information to help improve future performance.”

Dr Gahreman said the results included information on factors that affected performance, including body composition, lung capacity, blood lactate levels, body core temperature, blood haemoglobin and haematocrit, water consumption and weight loss due to sweating.

“The pack provides participants with their results and then an average of their race class, so they can see where they sit,” he said. “The pack also includes general information on where they sit in regard to general health and fitness.”

He said the event had been a great way to raise awareness of the benefits of the CDU sports science facility to the community and elite NT sportspeople and provided real experience for students.

“Participants can come into the labs for further advice or consultations on their results and we can deliver a specific program for them to improve performance,” he said. “After gaining the hands-on experience as part of the event, our students have now become competent in running consultations in the labs.”

Final year Exercise and Sports Science student Sarah Guajardo has been working in the lab to provide further information to participants.

“It has been great to gain such a large amount of practical experience while still studying,” she said. “It has given me the confidence with the testing. I really enjoy helping with ongoing consultations and monitoring for participants who wish to find out more about their results.”

To support this physical testing, psychology lecturer Dr Simon Moss also gave cyclists mental exercises designed to improve concentration and withstand pain.

Dr Gahreman said the involvement of the team in the Gran Fondo was part of a wider strategy of collaboration between CDU experts and local athletes and teams, and to promote the general wellbeing of Territorians through exercise. 

“We are currently working with professional cycling, football, hockey and swimming clubs for research purposes and to improve performance,” he said.