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Human Performance Unit Race Team 2015/16 - applications invited

‘Helping triathletes achieve their potential’

The Human Performance Unit (HPU) is the premier sport science facility in the East of England. Ideally located at the University of Essex, we are consistently ranked within the Top 10 universities in the UK for research. The HPU possess testing and training facilities and equipment that you would come to expect of at a leading sport science university. Athlete’s benefit from being tested by experienced sport scientists via state-of-the-art equipment valued in excess of £250,000. In addition to the sport science service, the HPU possess a team of triathlon coaches, including British Triathlon Federation Level 3 coach, Dr Dave Parry who was involved in the British Triathlon World Class Coaching set-up for 9 years.

The HPU prides itself as a one-stop shop offering a wide and specialist selection of services for triathletes of all abilities looking to maximise their performance. Some of the services offered are listed below.


Laboratory Testing (VO2max / Lactate)

The primary aim when undertaking laboratory testing is to establish benchmark values for a number of physiological parameters and identify individual strengths and weaknesses. Data collected throughout the testing typically includes;

• VO2max
• Maximum HR
• Cycling efficiency
• Running economy
• Lactate threshold
• Anaerobic threshold
• Establish equivalent HR / power / speed for training zones
• Peak aerobic power
• Power to weight ratio
• Peak velocity

By establishing these key parameters, a report is produced advising each athlete on appropriate training zones that relate to the context of the discipline i.e. running, swimming, cycling. The HPU provide testing opportunities for each discipline, making use of the following equipment;

• Mechanically braked bicycle ergometer (gold standard method of measuring cycling performance, as opposed to testing on a turbo trainer)
• Treadmill
• Swim ergometer


Altitude Training (Normobaric Hypoxia)

Undertake various training protocols tailored to your discipline and distance. Working closely with our sport scientists, we will devise a training protocol at the most suitable time of the season to assist with enhancing your performance. Hypoxia training, went implemented properly, can bring about both improvements to your aerobic capacity, repeated sprint ability and time trial performance. This usually requires visiting the HPU for 2-3 times per week for a 6 – 8 week period.

Furthermore, benefit from sleeping at altitude in the comfort of your own bed*. Prolonged exposure to hypoxia is considered the most effective method of altitude training to stimulate haematological changes, thus improving your oxygen carrying capacity. Our portable units are ideal to take home and utilize while you sleep. Also included is a pillow-tent, therefore no need to sleep with a mask over your mouth and nose.
*dependent upon equipment availability.


Sports Nutrition

As athletes strive to improve their performance via constructive and efficient training, a key area to complement the training load and competition phase is optimising the diet. The HPU provides independent nutrition advice for athletes, tailored to the individual. Adhering to an optimum nutrition strategy is not a ‘one-size fits all’ solution and getting this right will aid in promoting maximal adaptations to training. Nutrition services offered by the HPU include;

• Sport nutrition consultations
• Group/club presentations
• Food intake analysis and recommendations


Body Composition

Body composition measurements conducted by an accredited anthropometrist (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry – Level 2 accredited)
Skinfold, limb length, girth and breath measurements used to ascertain detailed information regarding body composition such as;

• Lean body mass
• Body fat percentage
• Sum of skinfolds (mm)
• Somatotype
• Fat mass
• Ideal weight target

A vital tool to track body changes, whether your goal is fat loss, increased lean muscle or just a little trimming up; this service provides an accurate monitoring method and is particularly useful when coupled with nutritional support.


Retul Bike Fitting

• State of the art bike fitting using infra red LED technology.
• Dynamic 3-dimensional motion capture on a rotating platform to collect data from both sides
• Certified Retul fitter


Underwater swim video analysis

• Observations made solely from above the water limit the assessment of technique.
• Underwater observations provide detailed view of the performer without the distorted view caused by light refraction.


The HPU race team has been competing for the last 9 years, during which time many of our athletes have gone onto represent Great Britain such as Abbie Thorrington and Matt Sharp. Read below for how you can become part of this great team and opportunity.

We are now inviting applications from athletes wishing to be part of the team in 2015/2016.

Senior team members will receive a support package worth over £1000:

• Sports science cycle, run and swim lab testing worth £300
• Retul bike fitting worth £170
• Coaching consultation with HPU triathlon coach worth £50
• Sports nutrition sessions worth £75
• Membership of the University of Essex £1.4M ‘evolve’ gym worth £320
• HPU Team tri-suit and casual clothing worth £100
• Free access to HPU online training monitoring system
• Discounted physiotherapy treatment

We welcome applications from athletes who intend to race at a high standard in any of the following in 2015/16: National elite series, World/European age-group championships, IM or 70.3 races or equivalent.

We also welcome applications from youth and junior athletes who intend to race in the national youth/junior series in 2015/16.

Please send a triathlon race C.V. to Chris McManus (





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