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Health check / blood tests for cycling & training in the UK?

neebneeb Posts: 4,383
Just wondering if anyone knows somewhere I could go in the UK to have a comprehensive once-off medical checkup for the purposes of training / fitness. Mainly thinking of a battery of blood tests like the pros get that would show up any dietary deficiencies / hormonal issues etc, but also perhaps heart tests and (if possible and not too expensive) a VO2 max test and other fitness metrics.

Seems worthwhile having something like that done at least once just in case there is something that needs tweaked, and I assume I can't get it on the NHS if it's primarily aimed at fitness.

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    Do you have any reason to think you might need any of that? If you've been riding for a while and you're still alive, then that's probably all the evidence you need that there's nothing seriously wrong.

    If you're determined though, I would have thought the sports science lab and your nearest Uni campus would be the first choice..
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,197
    as above, some universities do proper vo2max tests, also there're private services, just google

    unless you've got a seriously messed up diet, blood tests aren't going to show much, there's a large range of 'normal', if you want it done, plenty of commercial services, again just use google you'll find them, or buy a health check from bupa, nuffield etc.

    one-off tests aren't that useful, they need to be repeated so that 'on the day' variations can be averaged out across multiple tests

    fwiw i get a free health check (including vo2max estimate) every year as a company benefit, to buy it'd be 700-800 quid, it's got censored all training value

    imho if you want to spend the money to improve cycling performance, you'd do better to invest in coaching
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    He doesn't do the Blood testing but Sportstest.co.uk does testing within a cycling context and those that have used him have said it has really improved the effectiveness of their training.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,383
    Thanks for the tips - just thought it would be useful as I have met a few people who have discovered relatively late in life that they have some deficiency, e.g. low B12 because of a metabolic issue, sub-optimal thyroid levels, etc. Like everyone else I guess, I experience ups and downs in my fitness that aren't always easy to explain and I wonder if it correlates to something I'm not getting enough of. I take the point though that it's probably not very useful to have isolated blood tests as these won't detect trends and may miss things.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,129
    neeb wrote:
    Thanks for the tips - just thought it would be useful as I have met a few people who have discovered relatively late in life that they have some deficiency, e.g. low B12 because of a metabolic issue, sub-optimal thyroid levels, etc. Like everyone else I guess, I experience ups and downs in my fitness that aren't always easy to explain and I wonder if it correlates to something I'm not getting enough of. I take the point though that it's probably not very useful to have isolated blood tests as these won't detect trends and may miss things.
    Sub optimal thyroid levels are often age related any way and levels can be fine but six months later your thyroid gland has stopped working.
    So it is generally is not a case of having these issues for years that these people you have met may be implying.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,197
    neeb wrote:
    Thanks for the tips - just thought it would be useful as I have met a few people who have discovered relatively late in life that they have some deficiency, e.g. low B12 because of a metabolic issue, sub-optimal thyroid levels, etc. Like everyone else I guess, I experience ups and downs in my fitness that aren't always easy to explain and I wonder if it correlates to something I'm not getting enough of. I take the point though that it's probably not very useful to have isolated blood tests as these won't detect trends and may miss things.

    i read about this i the paper, there is a copy online too...
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/heal ... lping.html

    earlier they had...

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/heal ... lping.html

    ...which makes interesting reading

    if you feel you have consistent/repeating issues without apparent cause, i would start with a doctor or maybe nutritionist/physiologist
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    neeb wrote:
    I experience ups and downs in my fitness that aren't always easy to explain and I wonder if it correlates to something I'm not getting enough of.

    Consistent training? ;)
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,383
    Imposter wrote:
    neeb wrote:
    I experience ups and downs in my fitness that aren't always easy to explain and I wonder if it correlates to something I'm not getting enough of.

    Consistent training? ;)
    Ha ha, possibly sometimes.. :)

    Sometimes I have to take a week off due to work, travelling or other commitments and the effects of that (and how I compensate for it before and after) can be unpredictable.
  • nicklongnicklong Posts: 231
    Speak to your GP.

    I did this for exactly the same reasons, and had a really good discussion; he was very supportive of taking blood and ECG measurements so that if I did develop any condition I had a 'healthy' baseline to compare against on record, on the basis that athletes' normal ranges were very different to the average person (e.g. resting heart rates, heart rhythms etc). It was free of charge - I justified it on the basis that someone who regularly exercises is going to save the state a lot more money in the long run, an ECG was an investment.

    A friend was a super strong cyclist well into his late 50s then suddenly developed heart arrhythmia; the doctors found his years of Garmin-sourced heart rate data invaluable to working out what his correct rhythms should have looked like (he had the heart of a horse).
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