In July we launched a competition with the magazine Triathlon 220 for three winners to visit us & learn how to improve their Triathlon performance. Shaun, Dan & Keith came from all corners of the UK to spend the day with us at the OTE Performance Centre.

Each of our winners had varying degrees of experience in the sport of triathlon but they shared passion was clear. All three enjoyed the long course events; with their eyes firmly set on their next Ironman events. Our aim was to help them as much as possible to improve their triathlon performance.

The day was split into three parts: Performance Testing, Nutrition Seminar & Altitude Training Session.

Performance Testing

We’re lucky to have Craig Stevenson at the helm of our Performance Testing facilities. Having recently competed in Ironman Wales himself, Craig is certainly the man for the job when it comes to demystifying physiological numbers. Our three winners arrived and were straight into the Performance Centre and the first participant was soon kitted up and ready for testing.

Testing initially started with the measure of bioelectrical impedance. This is a method to estimate body composition. It also gave the participants body weight. This is a key for working out power to weight ratio, which can be a key measure when looking for improvements on the bike; especially on lumpy courses.

After these initial test were done it was time for the first participant to get a mask on and find a comfortable position on the bike. The test started with a quick flow volume test to work out lung capacity. Then before any pedalling began, the participant was asked to sit completely still to find resting basal metabolic rate; the calm before the storm.  A test can be expected to last around 8-12 minutes, not long. The bike automatically increases the watts required to turn the pedals and it’s up to the participant to adjust their cadence accordingly. Throughout this time heart rate, expired gas and wattage is all being measured. The aim is to go until you can’t go any more; get everything out! And all three of our competition winners certainly did that!

After a quick breather and some lunch, it was time to sit down with Craig and talk results. From the outside it looked like a lot of technical talk and graphs. But at the heart of this conversation Craig was converting this mass of numbers into usable training advice. Each winner was presented with a full set of power training zones and shown which ones had the potential to be improved upon.

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Nutrition Seminar

Next up it was nutrition, undoubtedly one of the most important part of completing an Ironman. One of the guys talked of having a peanut butter and banana bagel ready at transition one of his first ironman. And do you know what, that is fine! But we wanted to give advice on how to get these guys a faster time, so our very own Ironman specialist Pete Slater was the man for the job. They talked fuelling strategies, using special feed zones, the important of carbohydrates, to name a few areas. Pete’s 20 years of experience in triathlon and sports nutrition world meant no stone was left unturned. For all our advice on fuelling an ironman click here.

Each of our winners was also given a OTE bundle to go away and try. With our products all naturally flavoured and kind on the stomach, hopefully the guys will be able to use these in their next competition and see some huge benefits.

Altitude Training Session

Last up it was time to tire the competition winners out with an altitude chamber wattbike session. Our state of the art altitude chamber can simulate heights of 5500m. Today we took it to 3500m, which believe us is enough to make you feel breath less. After a bit of a spin to warm up, we went straight into one of our training sessions to give them a real feel of how hard training at Altitude is.

In the chamber it’s all about HIIT (high intensity interval training). Interval sets like 20 seconds sprint, 40 seconds recovery and repeat 5 times. At altitude it makes it very hard to recover between these short efforts, meaning you can’t go into them aiming for the same wattage as sea level; you simply won’t complete the set. And our competition winners quickly learnt this. These session are hard, but a fantastic work out for anyone pushed for time. For more information about the benefits of the altitude training sessions click here.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day at the Performance Centre. We love nothing more than sharing our collective knowledge and passion for sport with others. We want to wish Shaun, Keith & Dan all the luck with their winter training and next years competitions.

If you are interested in any of the services above then feel to drop us an email at for more information.

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