Metabolic Athlete™ Blood Lactate Testing – NOW AVAILABLE!


BLOOD LACTATE TESTING IS NOW AVAILABLE!

WHAT IS LACTATE TESTING?

The term “Lactate Testing” generally means testing your Blood Lactate concentration at various levels of increasing effort to help determine your lactate threshold, training zones, and benchmark your overall fitness for various types of sports including ROWING, RUNNING, and CYCLING, among others. This is often regarded as the “gold standard” to assess your Lactate Threshold (LT) – the crucial effort level where your body no longer can sustain the effort level and performance begins to decline.

Lactate Threshold” (LT) is often used interchangeably with “Anaerobic Threshold” (AT) and both can be accurately assessed through either Lactate (blood) or VO2 Max (breath) testing. At 4 STAR ENDURANCE, we actually combine the two methods utilizing equipment like the CardioCoach PRO metabolic cart to provide the most accurate and complete fitness assessment – taking both “direct” blood lactate measurements simultaneously alongside your “indirect” calorimetry (VO2) for a complete view into both the “input” and “output” of your metabolic engine!

We always recommend LACTATE + VO2 testing together since it provides the best picture of how your body can oxidize and metabolize lactate, carbs, and fat – providing a higher level of combined accuracy. That said, we still offer testing each independently as well. If you have questions about what type of testing is right for you, please contact us to review options, as we offer a wide variety of testing services, including:

GETTING STARTED

Questions about testing???
If this is your first time testing, or you have questions about test options, protocols, or more, don’t worry, we’re here to help! Schedule an online Zoom consult with Coach Chris!

PRICING & BOOKING

Step 1 – Pay online via the following links below to secure your testing service(s). Note that payment must be made in advance to secure and confirm an appointment booking.

Step 2 – View available time slots and schedule your appointment using the “PRE-PAID” option at calendly.com/metabolictesting

BLOOD LACTATE TESTING SERVICE – PAYMENT OPTIONS:

rower-female2-1

Metabolic Athlete™ LACTATE w/ VO2 + CONSULT

Purchase a single Metabolic Athlete™ BLOOD LACTATE w/ VO2 test – includes immediate VO2 test results on CardioCoach phone app + comprehensive consultation of all results.

$300.00

Metabolic Athlete™ LACTATE w/ VO2 + CONSULT (2-pack)

Purchase a 2-pack of Metabolic Athlete™ BLOOD LACTATE w/ VO2 tests – includes immediate VO2 test results on CardioCoach phone app + comprehensive consultation of all results.

$500.00

LACTATE ONLY

Purchase a single Lactate test.

$250.00

LACTATE ONLY (2-pack)

Purchase a 2-pack of Lactate tests for a discount!

$400.00

LACTATE ONLY (3-pack)

Purchase a 3-pack of LACTATE tests for a discount!

$550.00

TESTING PROTOCOLS FOR ROWING

We utilize a wide variety of testing protocols, and can tailor to an athlete or coach’s specific needs. We recommend completing a recent 2000m time trial effort to baseline your “2k” fitness before booking a metabolic test, in order to set accurate targets for your fitness level. For rowing, here are a few common, standard protocols as examples:

LACTATE or LACTATE + VO2:
4x 6min @ 2-3min rest: 65-70-75-80% of 2k Power or Pace @ 20-30spm
5x 5min @ 2-3min rest
5x 4min @ 2min rest
7x 4min @ 1min rest (Rowing Australia Protocol)

US ROWING (VO2 + MAX LACTATE):
2k time trial

CONCEPT2 WATTS-PACE CALCULATOR:
https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/calculators/watts-calculator

CONCEPT2 VO2MAX CALCULATOR:
https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/calculators/vo2max-calculator

Get your MetabolicAthlete RMR and VO2 test results on your phone with CUSTOM TAILORED heart rate zones and real-time fat + carb calorie burn calculated based on your TRUE metabolism using CARDIOCOACH!

Metabolic Athlete™ Testing
It’s not just about the test data…
it’s about learning how to use it!

When it comes to metabolic testing, it’s not just about getting accurate data… it’s about getting actionable data. A good metabolic specialist can administer an accurate test, but a great metabolic specialist can help you combine accurate data with additional experience and the right technology to know how to turn that test data into an actionable tool that will help you perform your best.

So when we say “it’s not just about the test”… we truly mean it! It’s really all about the consultation and review of your personalized metabolic data – combining the highest quality consultation with the highest quality actionable reports. That’s why we created the MetabolicAthlete™ testing services and training programs!

We are in the process of pioneering and launching a new suite of metabolic testing services, including our own custom-developed tests and reports tailored specifically for heart-rate based fitness training and endurance athletes – including our new MetabolicMarathoner™ and MetabolicAthlete™ tests. We are currently partnered to provide testing at 3+ premiere training centers across the Chicagoland area, as well as “at home” testing thanks to our use of two new industry-leading mobile metabolic lab carts that have just been released in just the past 2 years!

Coach Chris specializes in metabolic testing for our primary athlete base of cyclists, runners, and triathletes who compete in events all the way up to iron and ultra distance. As one of the only USAT Level 2 Certified Coaches who is also a Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist (METS-I FCP) that has completed over 1,000 metabolic tests over 10+ years, Coach Chris combines his unique lab experience with an extensive real-world racing experience (100 triathlons, 30+ marathons and 20+ Ironman races) to provide world-class training consultations with every test. Our goal is to not only provide you with good lab data, but also help you custom-tailor all of your fitness apps and devices including MyZone, Garmin, TrainingPeaks, and the free CardioCoach app that let’s you can see your real time fat & carb metabolism using your MetabolicAthlete™ test results!

Limited availability is now available for scheduling online – but additional testing days, times, and locations may be available – including “at home” testing for an additional fee (+$100 per 25 miles within the Chicago area). To book a metabolic test, please contact us at coach@metabolicathlete.com or schedule a consult to discuss any special requests.

RESEARCH STUDIES, PARTNERS & PROJECTS

We frequently partner with organizations to provide metabolic testing services, research projects, corporate wellness programs, and product testing. We also host “Metabolic Roadshows” and “Metabolic Athlete Testing Week” festivals and events at partner training facilities and retail locations across the Chicagoland area for small public and private groups to promote health, wellness, and team-building, as well as to drive membership, boost retention, and simply to have fun with sports science!

If you would like to partner with us on special events, to offer testing to large groups, or as part of special events or programs please contact us at coach@metabolicathlete.com

SCHEDULE A TEST TODAY

Metabolic Testing Preparation

Getting ready for a metabolic test? Learn more at www.4starendurance.com/vo2max and then please note the following Test Preparation instructions when scheduling a metabolic test with us – which includes both VO2, RMR, Metabolic Efficiency, and more!

In order to get the most accurate results, it is important to follow these standard METABOLIC TEST PREP instructions:

  • FASTING – You should be fasted by avoiding eating or consuming any calories for 4 hours before any RMR or VO2 test. For Metabolic Efficiency testing, please fast for a full 12 hours.
  • MEDICATIONS ARE OK – Continue to take any medications as directed.
  • BE WELL RESTED – Avoid high intensity exercising 24 hours prior to your test.
  • NO CAFFEINE OR STIMULANTS – If possible, avoid the use of stimulants such as smoking or caffeine for 6 hours prior to testing.
  • WORKOUT GEAR – Bring or wear comfortable workout attire to your appointment, including running shoes.
  • SNACK – Consider bringing a snack for after your test. You might be hungry from fasting and you’re more than welcome to snack during your post-test consultation!
  • SHOWERS AVAILABLE – Consider bringing any change of clothes for after your test. Locker rooms and showering facilities will be available (please inquire at the front desk about use of secure lockers).
  • PARQ – Consult with your physician to ensure you are cleared for any physical activity. We will conduct a pre-test interview and Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) onsite prior to testing in order to ensure that you are ready, and that we adapt any testing protocols regardless of fitness level. And yes, anyone can have metabolic testing adapted for any limitations in mobility or fitness level… even if that means just walking for 5 minutes! For a preview of possible questions, e always welcome and recommend reviewing or completing a detailed PARQ should you have any questions or concerns, such as this one found at http://eparmedx.com/
  • REVIEW TESTING PROTOCOL – We use a wide variety of exercises testing protocols that can be adapted to your individual needs, including adapted BRUCE, BALKE, and similar protocols for our Graded Exercise Testing (GXT). If you are not familiar with testing protocols, feel free to review this guide from the AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE (ACE) and feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
  • MASK UP – Follow local COVID guidelines as these may change from time to time. For the city of Chicago, this currently means MASKS ARE REQUIRED INDOORS at all times regardless of vaccination status. Please bring a mask to wear before and after testing. Learn more and check for updates to this policy at https://www.chicago.gov/covid
  • ARRIVE EARLY – please arrive about 15 minutes early to ensure you have time to check in at the front desk and take a seat in the “member lounge” area where your test administrator will meet you (unless otherwise coordinated ahead of time). You may use the locker rooms ahead of time (please inquire at the front desk about use of secure lockers) but you’re welcome to bring any and all personal items with you to the appointment (no need to use lockers).

At 4 STAR ENDURANCE and METABOLICATHLETE.COM we use two different types of metabolic carts, including the Korr Medical CardioCoach PRO for indoor testing and PNOE Portable Metabolic Analyzer for portable, at home, and outdoor testing. The following video is for testing with the PNOE cart, but general guidelines apply to any VO2 Max, VO2 Submax, Metabolic Efficiency, or Active Metabolic Rate (AMR) test:

Have any additional questions or special requests? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at coach@metabolicathlete.com

Metabolic Testing & VO2Max

Research Study

SPECIAL OFFER (through January 2022): Apply for a chance to earn a free VO2 MAX TEST + TRAINING CONSULT as part of an ongoing research study with our partners at PhysIQ! Limited to the first 10 participants per age group, so APPLY NOW at: https://physiq.com/solutions/evo2-trial

EARN A FREE VO2 TEST:

APPLY FOR RESEARCH STUDY


SCHEDULE A TEST TODAY:

BOOK A METABOLIC TEST TODAY!

VO2Max Testing

WHAT IS METABOLIC TESTING?

Find your fitness MOTIVATION through lab-grade precise MEASUREMENT of your unique METABOLISM! The term “Metabolic Testing” can mean many things, but most commonly refers to two of the most popular types of “indirect calorimetry” tests that are often performed using gas-exchange equipment in human performance labs or university settings, such as:

  • Active Metabolic Rate (AMR)
    AMR testing is sometimes referred to as VO2, VO2max or VO2submax testing where you perform a graded exercise test (GXT) on a piece of fitness equipment such as a treadmill or stationary bike for fitness benchmarking purposes. These tests normally include 6-15 minutes of walking, cycling, running, or rowing with increasing effort, incline, speed, or resistance until you “max out” due to fatigue as you approach your maximum heart rate (though you typically will end a test 5-10bpm below your actual Max heart rate). For those with any physical limitations or personal preferences, VO2 testing can also be performed where you aim to finish at a “submaximal” 80-90% effort level, or about 20-30 beats below your max heart rate. Either way, we consider AMR tests to be the “best all-around” option and starting point for those who have never performed a metabolic test before. VO2 reports performed with the most modern equipment (such as the new top-tier CardioCoach “PRO” unit we coincidentally use!) will provide insight into your fat & carb metabolism while also providing accurate Heart Rate (HR) training zones, Aerobic Threshold (AeT), and Anaerobic Threshold (AT) values… basically all the data you need to train smarter and learn what your metabolism is doing while you are working out.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) testing
  • Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
    RMR testing is similar to AMR testing, but performed at rest. Testing includes monitoring your oxygen consumption for 10-20 minutes and measure your metabolic rate at rest to aid in diet & nutrition planning. These tests provide insight into what your metabolism is doing “for the 23 hours of the day you’re not working out” and thus are typically performed alongside a diet & nutrition consultation, and combined with a VO2 test to give you a full metabolic profile for all 24 hours of the day.

Additional types of metabolic testing include:

  • Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP)
    “MEP” testing is often referred to as “cycling economy” and “running economy” testing, and generally refers to “Long VO2” tests that utilize a type of Metabolic Efficiency Testing (MET) protocol to help determine your fat vs. carb “cross over” – aka your Metabolic Efficiency Point (MEP). We recommend this type of test as a next step “Level 2” test after you have completed an initial VO2/VO2max test because a strong endurance fitness baseline and familiarization with testing procedures is a pre-requisite to ensure desired results can be achieved as these tests require wearing a mask and pacing consistently at increasing efforts for 20-60minutes non-stop. These tests can be customized for various sports and any fitness levels, as we utilize several types of “long VO2” protocols including those administered by Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialists (METS) certified by MetabolicEfficiency.org
  • Blood Lactate
    Where VO2max is an “indirect” (oxygen) measurements of your metabolism through your breath, Blood Lactate involves a “direct” (blood) measurement measurement and is considered by many to be the “gold standard” for determining your Anaerobic or Lactate Threshold (AT or LT). Performed as a rowing, cycling, or running fitness test, lactate testing is administered by taking several finger or ear blood sample “pricks” every couple minutes to measure the concentration of lactate in your blood at various exercise intensity levels to help determine your Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation (OBLA) and Maximum Lactate Steady State (MLSS). For most clients, we often recommend completing a less invasive VO2 Max test first, simply because it’s less painful and modern VO2 Max testing equipment includes a higher frequency of data points and additional insight into your fat vs. carb metabolism that you may not get with Blood Lactate testing. We offer both Blood Lactate as a standalone test and as a Blood Lactate + VO2 “combo” whereby we perform VO2 testing while taking lactate samples simultaneously for a more comprehensive metabolic evaluation.
    Learn more here: MetabolicAthlete™ BLOOD LACTATE testing
Get your MetabolicAthlete Lab test results on your phone with CUSTOM TAILORED heart rate zones and fat + carb calories based on your TRUE metabolism using CARDIOCOACH!

The Mobile Metabolic Athlete™ Lab

When it comes to metabolic testing, it’s not just about getting accurate data… it’s about getting actionable data. A good metabolic specialist can administer an accurate test, but a great metabolic specialist can help you combine accurate data with additional experience and the right technology to know how to turn that test data into an actionable tool that will help you perform your best.

So when we say “it’s not just about the test”… we truly mean it! It’s really all about the consultation and review of your personalized metabolic data. Combining expert consultation with the highest quality actionable data and reports is what delivers true value. That’s why we created the MetabolicAthlete™ testing services and training programs!

We are in the process of pioneering and launching a new suite of metabolic testing services, including our own custom-developed tests and reports tailored specifically for heart-rate based fitness training and endurance athletes – including our new MetabolicMarathoner™ and MetabolicAthlete™ tests. As of November 2021, we are currently partnered to provide testing at 3+ premiere training centers across the Chicagoland area, as well as “at home” testing thanks to our use of two new industry-leading mobile metabolic lab carts that have just been released in just the past 2 years!

Coach Chris specializes in metabolic testing for our primary athlete base of cyclists, runners, and triathletes who compete in events all the way up to iron and ultra distance. As one of the only USAT Level 2 Certified Coaches who is also a Metabolic Efficiency Training Specialist (METS-I FCP) that has completed over 1,000 metabolic tests over 10+ years, Coach Chris combines his unique lab experience with an extensive real-world racing experience (100 triathlons, 30+ marathons and 20+ Ironman races) to provide world-class training consultations with every test. Our goal is to not only provide you with good lab data, but also help you custom-tailor all of your fitness apps and devices including MyZone, Garmin, TrainingPeaks, and the free CardioCoach app that let’s you can see your real time fat & carb metabolism using your MetabolicAthlete™ test results!

Metabolic testing at our partner training facilities is now available for scheduling online. To book a private “At Home” metabolic test, or if you have any specific questions, please contact us anytime at coach@metabolicathlete.com to inquire – we’d love to help coordinate testing to your personalized needs and goals!

RESEARCH STUDIES, PARTNERS & PROJECTS

We frequently partner with organizations to provide metabolic testing services, research projects, corporate wellness programs, and product testing. We also host “Metabolic Roadshows” and “Metabolic Athlete Testing Week” festivals and events at partner training facilities and retail locations across the Chicagoland area to promote health, wellness, and team-building, as well as to drive membership, boost retention, and simply to have fun with sports science!

If you would like to partner with us on special events, to offer testing to large groups, or as part of special events or programs please contact us at coach@metabolicathlete.com

SCHEDULE A TEST TODAY

Lakeshore Landshark Indoor Triathlon

Has the fall season put an early end to your 2021 triathlon season? Even though outdoor triathlons are winding down, you don’t have to let the cooler weather slow down your triathlon fitness goals!

Get motivated with an early kickstart to your 2022 training goals by completing in the Lakeshore Landsharks Indoor Triathlon @ Lakeshore Sport & Fitness (LSF) – Illinois Center on Sunday, November 14th.

Whether you’re a first timer, or experienced Iron distance athlete looking to test your fitness, the indoor triathlon challenge is a great way to stay motivated heading into the holiday season! For full details, and to sign up to race and/or volunteer, visit runsignup.com/indoortri

Registration includes special perks and offers, including a free drop-in SINGLE CLASS (up to $50 value!) in a SWIM TECHNIQUE or SLASH & DASH CHALLENGE class!

Discounts available to LSF Members, 4Star Club, Lakeshore Landsharks and Volunteers. If you’re part of a club, charity, or want to create your own team to race together, contact COACH@LANDSHARKTRIATHLON.COM to inquire about how to get involved!

Register by Friday, Nov 5th for bonus swag at runsignup.com/indoortri

4 Star’s Fix A Flat Resources

Want some great fix a flat tips to help practice and build confidence for race day?

Watch our 4 STAR ENDURANCE “Fix a Flat” video (link coming soon)!

  • COMING SOON!

DETAILED STEPS TO FIX A FLAT:

  1. Open BRAKES / brake calipers first
  2. Rear wheel only: shift into HARDEST (smallest) rear chainring for easy wheel removal (optionally shift into small ring on front crankset for even more slack on chain to make it easier)
  3. Open skewer & loosen with a couple turns
  4. Remove wheel (rear wheel – push on derailleur tab for easy removal)
  5. Remove tire using TIRE LEVERS (starting on the side opposite the valve)
  6. Align tire lever “scoop” under bead of tire with a spoke below. Position a second tire lever and push both in together, then attach one tire lever to a spoke using the tire levers HOOK
  7. Keep tube aligned with label / PSI near valve (to better identify spot of leak/hole/tear)
  8. Inflate tube with small amount of air to identify spot of leak (if possible)
  9. Check inside of tire for gravel/glass and spot source of leak (look for powder)
  10. Patch tube or replace tube
  11. Add small amount of air into (new or patched) tube (to maintain shape and prevent pinch flats).
  12. Starting at valve – insert tube inside wheel & tire.
  13. Place tube inside tire first, then align both over the wheel (bead still exposed)
  14. Re-set tire bead starting at valve first (push valve in to help), then work around
  15. Use tire levers or palms to get last bit in (push slack up & pinch tire into center of wheel well if you need more slack)
  16. Inflate slowly, and check for exposed tire bead before fully inflating
  17. Reset wheel and make sure it’s in all the way!
  18. Tighten skewers (should be hard, firm!)
  19. Check brakes – are they rubbing?
  20. Double check outside surface of tire for glass or rocks before riding away
  • TIP: BARREL ADJUSTERS!  If gears aren’t shifting or brakes are rubbing, use the barrel adjusters or manually adjust the brakes to ensure safe braking power! Barrel adjusters are sometimes located on cables coming out of handlebar shifters or on downtube.
  • TIP: After Fix A Flat… A-B-C Bike Check!
    • A – Air – should be firm for greater efficiency & speed!
    • B – Brakes – Not rubbing, but not too loose either!
    • C – Chain – Shift through all gears

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS:

Watch these videos to learn how bike tires work and various tips on how to fix a flat tire if it happens to you!

1. Fix A Flat – Road Bike Front Wheel (7mins) https://youtu.be/wOBcXVnJLcc

2. Fix A Flat – Road Bike Complete Removal (2mins)https://youtu.be/Lydl8gyGrHY 

3. Tires – How Bike Tires Work (10mins)https://youtu.be/F7tY70MModk

REI TIPS

For more bike tips, check out REI’s bike articles and flat tire tips.

1. REI Bike Articles: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/cycling.html 

2. Flat Tire Tips: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/flat-tire.html

LANDSHARK SWIM-RUN & TRI CLUB

Want to join the LAKESHORE LANDSHARKS, Chicago’s first SWIM-RUN and TRIATHLON multisport club? There are two ways to join us…

1. LAKESHORE LANDSHARK – JOIN THE CLUB TEAM
Simply subscribe to join our “LANDSHARK CLUB” ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP via RunSignup to “become part of the club team” and an official member of Chicago’s first Swim-Run + Triathlon Club! You’ll enjoy team perks including 4Star Endurance’s TrainingPeaks training plans (Sprint to Iron distance and more!), access to race day team tents, discounts on training and coaching + a chance to earn up to two (2) pieces of team gear every year – one item by showing up, and another by volunteering or referring a friend to join! This makes you an “official” member of the team for race day events, socials, and other special events, even without formally joining us in any training programs or classes. You’ll also enjoy the same access to training plans, group discounts, and sponsor perks as the “train smarter” 4 STAR CLUB (click to learn more) program, just without the TrainingPeaks Premium upgrade (which is included only in the 4 STAR CLUB “upgrade”).

– or –

2. LAKESHORE LANDSHARKS – JOIN THE GROUP TRAINING
You can also become a participant of our in-person “LAKESHORE LANDSHARKS” GROUP TRAINING PROGRAMS through TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) or LakeShore Sport & Fitness (LSF) Landshark Training Programs. You’ll become an official member and “part of the team” to be able to enjoy training plans, race day team tents, discounts, etc… just without the additional annual team gear perks!


SWIM LIKE A LADY… AND RACE LIKE A SHARK!

For each new member who joins our LAKESHORE LANDSHARKS CLUB TEAM, we provide funding for two (2) FREE SWIM BUOYS… one for you + one for an additional person as part of our LADYBUG SWIM PROJECT initiative. So join the team and support a great cause!


SWIM LIKE A LADY…. AND RACE LIKE A SHARK!

Volunteer & Coach with 4Star!

4 STAR ENDURANCE draws inspiration from the 4 stars of the Chicago flag – one of the most iconic city flags in the world! And just like the every aspect of the Chicago flag represents a key part of it’s history, each point on each star of our 4 STAR logo represents a key source of motivation and structure that helps to make endurance sports athletes more successful: PLAN. TEST. LEARN. INSPIRE!

But one of the biggest contributors to athlete’s success is their support team – our coaches and volunteers! So if you’d like to help us help athletes succeed, join our team of some of the most fun, friendly, experienced, and certified coaches & volunteers in all of Chicago.

One of our key areas of focus is to help athletes “LEARN” and become more educated athletes through our 4 STAR ENDURANCE volunteer and coaching development pathway which includes clinics and events to help you develop through our 4 main steps:

  1. VOLUNTEER
  2. PACER/MENTOR
  3. COACH (USOC SafeSport, CPR/AED, at least 1 endurance certification)
  4. HEAD COACH (multiple certifications; 3-5+ years of experience)

So come join our community whether you’re interested in volunteering or coaching and we’ll inspire you to keep learning, improving, and ultimately become the best athlete, pacer, mentor, coach, or volunteer you can be!

REGISTER HERE TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE INDOOR TRIATHLONS:
runsignup.com/indoortri/volunteer

REGISTER HERE TO VOLUNTEER OR COACH WITH US FOR ALL OTHER PROGRAMS:
https://tinyurl.com/4star-coach-volunteer

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING?
JOIN THE VOLUNTEER EMAIL LIST HERE:
https://groups.google.com/g/endurance-volunteers

ARE YOU A CERTIFIED COACH?
JOIN THE 4 STAR “CHICAGO COACH COLLECTIVE” FACEBOOK GROUP HERE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/4starcoaches

QUESTIONS?

Contact coach@4starendurance.com

4STAR’s 4K UNDERWATER SWIM STROKE VIDEO ANALYSIS

Taking our passion of photography and video analysis to the next level, we’re now offering a new 4K UNDERWATER SWIM ANALYSIS service to help swimmers and triathletes or all levels – from beginners to elites!

There is no better way to identify areas for improvement than truly seeing yourself from every angle, in high quality, and in slow motion. So we’ve developed a few new techniques to analyze your swim technique in up to 4k high resolution and up to 240 frames per second slow motion with some of the latest 360-degree 6-axis image stabilization technologies!

Our video analysis techniques and technology solution has been developed into a custom-designed “4 STAR LAB” mobile cart solution that is currently being piloted at select locations in the Chicago area, including indoor lap and endless pool options. To request an individual 1on1 appointment, or group solutions for training centers, teams, and health clubs, please contact us at COACH@4STARENDURANCE.COM

You can also find our video services available as part of the new LANDSHARK TRIATHLON CLUB programs at LAKESHORE SPORT & FITNESS (LSF) at LSFendurance.eventbrite.com

Pro Triathlete and former ITU Age Group World Champion Jacquie Godbe

REMOTE VIDEO ANALYSIS

Want to record your own swim stroke and wondering what type of technology we use? We use some of the latest and greatest video equipment, including some readily available consumer technology that we’ve customized with our own special in-house equipment, workflow, and filming techniques – but you can achieve similar results with off-the-shelf options such as these and then send us your video for remote analysis:

INSTA360 GO2

INSTA360 ONE R
(shop with this link and receive a bonus SELFIE STICK + BATTERY BASE!)

INSTA360 ONE X2
(shop with this link and your order will include a free CARRY CASE!)

LEON’S TRIATHLON is coming back!

4 STAR ENDURANCE is proud to support LEON’S TRIATHLON – one of our favorite local races and the unofficial start of summer “kickoff to triathlon season” for the Chicagoland area!

Register online at LeonsTriathlon.com and join us at this year’s race! As a new perk this year, for every person who registers for the race, 4 STAR ENDURANCE is providing a free training plan:

  • 12-week SPRINT/OLYMPIC TRAINING PLAN – LINK COMING SOON!

IRONMONSTER TEAM: Join us for the Leon’s Tri Team Challenge! 4 STAR ENDURANCE supports the 100% intimidation-free and friendly Chicago IRONMONSTER triathlon club – so if you’re racing the OLYMPIC distance and not already on a club team, please feel welcome to register for the “TEAM CHALLENGE” division and select the option to join our “IronMonster” team roster on race day to compete for the team cup challenge competition alongside the Chicago IronMonster triathlon club – we always welcome any new triathletes! Click here for more details

TRAININGPEAKS TRAINING PLAN UPGRADE: 4 STAR ENDUARNCE also creates detailed training plans delivered via TrainingPeaks! Join the 4 STAR ENDURANCE CLUB or IRONMONSTER to enjoy our premium training plans that feature fully “structured workouts” that are fully compatible with virtually all smart watches, apps, and fitness devices including GARMIN, ZWIFT, ROUVY, RGT CYCLING, and more! Learn more about TrainingPeaks integrations here, and consider joining our 4 STAR ENDURANCE CLUB to unlock the power of TrainingPeaks Premium! See below for more training tips, resources, and info!


image.png
Ride Leon’s Triathlon course on RGT CYCLING using MAGIC ROADS ID: zv3UR9E5Iw0c

LEON’S TRIATHLON – VIRTUAL BIKE COURSE!
Ride the Leon’s Triathlon bike course on RGT CYCLING for free! We’ve created a virtual replica of the Leon’s Triathlon bike course on RGT CYCLING (MAGIC ROADS ID: zv3UR9E5Iw0c). Join the CHICAGO VIRTUAL CYCLISTS (CVC) community for workouts, meetups, and virtual races on the Leon’s Triathlon bike course!

Ride the high-accuracy 3D curated version of the Leon’s Triathlon bike course with the Chicago Virtual Cyclists (CVC) on RGT CYCLING!

Chicago IronMonster’s triathletes have won at least one division of the Leon’s TEAM CUP CHALLENGE every year!

TRAIN SMARTER WITH 4 STAR!
Join the 4 STAR ENDURANCE CLUB to get a discounted upgrade to TRAININGPEAKS PREMIUM to take your training to the next level… and you might find yourself on top of the podium!


IronMonster triathletes swim often at Ohio Street Beach!

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!
Join the IRONMONSTER triathlon club to join our community of like-minded, beginner-friendly, and fun triathletes! Team perks, social events, meetups, and a race day tent for socializing pre and post race are just some of our perks… as well as discounts on 1on1 training, group training, races, team gear, and more!

How to Create Virtual Cycling and Triathlon Races

At 4 STAR ENDURANCE, we spent 10+ years building Chicago’s first and only USA TRIATHLON (USAT) Certified Performance Center where we developed enhanced techniques for creating highly curated, accurate course replicas for our most demanding amateur and professional athletes alike. Creating the most realistic training and racing experience at our 16-rider indoor CompuTrainer cycling center allowed us to pioneer hosting some of the industry’s first-ever USAT-sanctioned indoor SPRINT and OLYMPIC distance races under one roof… and even support the development of a professional triathlete, world champion, and UCI eSports World Championship qualifier!

Now, with the rapid growth of indoor cycling platforms and eSports Cycling, we’ve now transferred those skills, tools and techniques over to the 3D and video cycling realms to further develop expertise in designing virtual eSports cycling events for both draft-legal road races, triathlon time trials, and charity fundraisers using various virtual cycling platforms including a few of our favorites, such as:

VidFitness for completion-focused video rides with “virtual challenges”:

VidFitness – Bike The Drive

RGT CYCLING for 3D real-world “magic roads” simulations for draft-legal races and time trials:

At 4 STAR ENDURANCE, we’ve also developed our own internal techniques for curating GPS data to design not only the most accurate, but also the best possible ride experiences across several virtual cycling platforms – delivering the best possible experience for our athletes, partners, and training programs.

See below for a few quick tips for RGT CYCLING specifically, and contact us anytime at coach@4starendurance.com to inquire about assistance and services in designing your next virtual course, or indoor cycling or triathlon race experience. Whether a private 1on1 Zoom meeting to learn how to create and custom-tailored a course for your own individual training, or a consulting engagement on hosting team rides, charity fundraisers, or help with coordination for a full professional production and marketing promotion with partner organizations – we’ve done it all!

See the ECHELON RACING LEAGUE for inspiring live-coverage examples of some of the world-class possibilities, or visit VidFitness for video cycling examples!


THE TECHNICAL STUFF

DESIGNING GPS ROUTES FOR VIRTUAL CYCLING

Below are some tips and resources for designing virtual courses on platforms like RGT CYCLING.

STEP 1 – EXPORT GPX FILES
Go to websites like GARMIN CONNECT, STRAVA, or RIDEWITHGPS to search for routes, or design your own course and export a “.GPX” file. Garmin Connect or Strava workouts would be the least ideal to use direct raw GPS data – we recommend converting to a course file leveraging map elevation data first before exporting, rather than exporting GPS workout data from a GPS device without conversion first.


STEP 2 – AUTOMATED GPS ELEVATION CURATION
If the GPX file was created from a GPS watch or bike computer workout, consider smoothing the data with more accurate GPS data from global databases like NASA or USGS. Use a tool like PERF PRO STUDIO or GPS VISUALIZER to convert, smooth, and adjust data automatically based on mapped elevation data from publicly available databases (e.g. with GPS Visualizer, simply select the “Add DEM elevation data” option when converting a file).

WHY? Tools like PerfPro and GPS Visualizer have access to NASA’s SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) elevation data set and/or the USGS’s NED (National Elevation Dataset). If your GPS coordinates do not contain elevation information, this can provide it – or if you have GPS data already, this can help improve your file with great accuracy. If you had elevation data from a handheld GPS watch or bike computer (not very reliable when it comes to accurate altitude data), your data could be “bumpy” with repeated ups and downs of a few feet at a time that shouldn’t really be there to mimic a real-world smooth, flat road.


STEP 3 – FLY THROUGH & MANUAL CURATION
Learn to use GPX file editing tools and follow a tutorial like this – or use a 3D analysis tool like GPXmagic to do a virtual “fly through” of the course and consider watching these videos to learn some best practices on how to make these types of adjustments:

  • FIRST PERSON “FLY THROUGH” – do a fly through to get a better perspective on the course smoothness, hills, corners, and views.
  • SMOOTH STEEP HILLS – consider smoothing hill segments above 8-10 percent grade for a better riding experience for a wider range of athletes and indoor bikes and smart trainers that often have limitations above 8 percent, causing “tire slip” issues. For time trials, consider smoothing grades to under 5 percent grades as the max. Also, to maximize the cycling drafting experience, consider keeping the bulk of the course segments to under 3-6 percent!
  • REMOVE OVERLAPS – “nudge” out and back sections to avoid overlapping (check both left/right “tracks” and up/down “elevation”)
  • SMOOTH TURNS – eliminate sharp turns (unless intended?) by selecting a start point, then clicking SMOOTH BEND, then DROP MARKER – and/or use “TRACKPOINTS” to leverage the “Add 2 track points in place of this one” feature.
  • SMOOTH ROADS – use FILTERS and CENTROID AVERAGING at 50 percent to smooth out larger sections of “bumpy” GPS data points to eliminate both vertical and side to side jitter in GPS data points.
  • REVIEW DISTANCE and ELEVATION GAIN – review the final course data for distance and total elevation accuracy. With RGT Cycling, review the “Detailed Interactive Report” in the confirmation email for any errors or areas of concern…

STEP 4 – LOAD DATA INTO CYCLING APP
Load your file into a cycling app like RGT CYCLING (premium version) by uploading or emailing the data file as per the app instructions for magic roads to make it ready for a test run in your library!

RGT Cycling Mobile App on the App Store

STEP 5 – TEST RACE
Use a tool like the RGT CYCLING phone app (with premium subscription) to schedule a GROUP RACE with 20+ BOTS that have a wide range of FTPs (100w to 300w) to see how fast various riders would complete the course – or schedule a meetup with real people (and bots!).

In RGT CYCLING you can use the new SPECTATE MODE so you don’t have to ride the course yourself – simply view on a PC and click Shift-F6 and use HOME/END and PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN to follow other riders and view the route in 3D from several different camera angles by clicking to drag & zoom in/out to identify any points that need tweaking, then go back to STEP 3 to make any edits and repeat as necessary until the course is perfected to your liking! Once the course is loaded, in the RGT CYCLING app you can use either of these methods to test ride/race a course:

  • MENU-> MAGIC ROADS -> LIBRARY (click on your map) ->”QUICK RIDE
  • MENU->ORGANIZE -> GROUP RIDE or RACE-> “MAGIC ROADS
    then update “LAPS” and add “BOTS” (with at least 50 riders for draft-legal events) with power ranging from 100-300w

That’s it – enjoy!