Every Adventure Starts A Little Scary

Maybe a better title for this blog would have been “The Devil”™s In The Details”.  Fortunately I did receive some offers from some real suckers… er… I mean some really nice riders who want to help me out as we take our walk in the enchanted forest of Muscular Endurance.  But as any adventure worth taking goes, there is the planning and paperwork that must go along with it.

First there”™s the inevitable “If you die it”™s not my fault” waiver — every fitness facility and cycling studio has to have one, and if you do metabolic testing or mad scientist stuff like we are want to do, then you have to have a really BIG one.

Next you need some basic instructions to give to your test subjects unless you plan on supervising every minute of every trial.  Don”™t really have the time for that?  I didn”™t think so.  No one does, but yet it is imperative that we keep everyone on the “same page”.  What better way than to copy that page and give it to each one of them — we call that our data collection protocols (see how scientific sounding we make things).  It”™s really just instructions.  it”™s not rocket science, but it”™s these little things that when missed, is like catching you napping in the poppy fields.

Data Integrity & Consistency
If we want to draw any sort of conclusions at all about our results, we need to make sure that we both execute the drill in a consistent manner, and collect or document each trial (the specific drills assigned to the study participants) accurately.  Aside from being detailed in our instructions, we also should provide a spreadsheet or at least a paper form that will somewhat “force” each rider to speak the same language.

This not only helps with the consistency of reporting, but it will also make aggregating the data across each of the subjects easier to complete.  I have therefore prepared a spreadsheet that has tables for recording both the Baseline (Pre-research or “before”) test and the Performance (the after-research) test.  In addition, I have prepared 1 table for each of the 4 weeks in our study.

Oh My!
Finally, the “Oh My!” part of this adventure is here as I assumed that our subjects would want to print out the spreadsheet to help them record their numbers soon after their workouts since there is that risk of memory leakage (some of us more than others J ).  Anyway, I looked at the “print view” and yep — that”™s when I said “Oh My!”  as I had to scrap 3 of the 4 tables and reformat the first one so it could be more easily printed — and then of course export them for both Mac and Windows versions.  So you see, it really was a dark and scary forest with flying monkeys after all.

Any last minute volunteers are still welcome.  I still don”™t have 10 volunteers, but I must get started. Please comment on this post if you are going to participate, and you can find the forms and spreadsheets at this dropbox link.  I have several versions of the spreadsheet so hopefully it will work for most participants: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6bugjlb8wtew1iy/HdspfwB7D_

We start collecting data on Saturday 8/11, so please email me your waivers and any questions you might have.  See you in OZ!


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