It has been an incredible opportunity to have had the first four days at Formula Medicine. I’ve learned a lot more than I imagined I would, and I look forward to how much I have to learn from them in the future.
The main goal for this first stint was to build a profile based on my current physical and mental fitness, as well as the results from other tests like a body composition scan and self-awareness testing. Using this profile, a personalised training program is provided to me, which helps me to target the areas I need to work on, and the areas which are most crucial in Formula 3, while at the same time improving my base level of fitness.
The first day started in the Mental Economy Gym, where some baseline analysis tests were carried out. Starting by taking a resting heart rate, I then was taken through a series of tests. The first of which, the Colour Test, involves the names of colours appearing on the screen, and you need to identify whether the colour it is written in matches the colour it describes. It sounds simple, but the ’True’ and ‘False’ buttons also switch positions randomly, so there is a lot to consider in a short period of time. While taking this test, my ‘Brain Strain’ (a measure of the amount of cognitive load being used) and heart rate were being monitored, and these measures, when combined, allow a huge amount of analysis on the way I can manage both while under pressure.
Following this, I took another test, the ‘Focus Test’, in which a car drives around a track, and when you are more focused, the car goes faster, giving a motorsport-themed way for testing one’s focus.
The final test of this session was the ‘Numbers Test’, where numbers 1-100 are displayed in a random order on a 10x10 grid and the goal is to find the numbers in order as fast as possible. A tricky test which requires a lot of focus and cannot be rushed.
The afternoon of the first day consisted of the physical analysis. The first test was a cardiovascular test on the treadmill, where the speed is gradually increased at 90s intervals and you run until breaking-point. Needless to say, I was absolutely knackered after this test, but after a short 5 minute break it was on to the strength tests. Here I had to pick a weight on various machines with which I could do no more than 10 reps before I wasn’t physically able to continue. This allowed them to calculate my theoretical single-rep maximum weight which will allow us to calculate my future improvements in a quantitative way.
To end the day they guided me through some circuits designed to improve general cardiovascular fitness and core strength/stability.
It was a really tiring first day, but there was still another three to go!
The morning of the second day consisted of some more mental analysis, where I was introduced to two more tests, the ‘Lights Test’ and the ‘Balance Test’. The Lights Test is a test where you stand in front of a board of lights and need quick reactions and agility to press the lights as they turn on. The Balance Test involves balancing on a board, and the straighter you can stand over a period of time, the greater the score. Throughout both of these tests, my heart rate was monitored, and the goal of these tests is to learn to manage your heart rate while under pressure and having to react quickly.
Later in the day, I went through a body composition scan, which showed values such as my current muscle and fat percentage. I was also shown the values which they consider optimal and have therefore set some goals around this.
The rest of the stay involved a lot of hard work, with two three-hour training sessions per day. There was a huge amount of focus on helping me understand myself and identifying my strengths and weaknesses both mentally and physically.
As always, there’s a lot which I will be doing between now and next season, and with the guidance I have been given, my training will be at the next level. I look forward to putting everything I have learned into practice, and also to being back with Formula Medicine to see the improvements I will have made.
It’s been an incredibly beneficial trip and I can’t wait to learn as much as I can while I am working with them.