Ultra X co-founder trains for success with Loughborough’s Physiology services (VIDEO)

Sam Heward, an Ultra Runner and co-founder of Ultra X, has shared his experience of undergoing physiology testing at Loughborough University in order to improve his running performance.

In a recent visit to campus, Sam underwent various physiology tests under the watchful eye of Loughborough Sport’s experts Steven Harris and Megan Smith.

The tests are designed to provide a wider understanding on how the athlete reacts to different intensities and different paces, which in turn helps Loughborough create bespoke training schedules in line with sporting goals.  

As part of the programme, Sam pushed himself to the limit during the rigorous VO2 Max test. From here, the practitioners can build a picture of current fitness levels and the athlete’s potential.

When speaking about why he accessed the services, he said: “I’m an Ultra runner, I’ve been involved in sport for a few years. I’m in a position now where work takes a big portion of my life, and I have a limited amount of time to train, so what’s really important to me is that I try and continue to achieve at a decent level and progress, and actually be more effective with my training.”

Sam also underwent training in intense heat in the University’s Environmental Chamber, which was set to 36ᵒC and 75% humidity. This gave him the experience of running in similar conditions to Thailand, the location of his next event.

Extreme environmental conditions can challenge even the fittest person, and this test analysed how Sam’s core temperature would change under such conditions. It also allowed him to prepare for his next event through hydration and cooling strategies.

Sam added: “I think today has taught me a few things that I can take away and build into the next training cycle for the next event, and hopefully go faster.”

Following the physiology tests, athletes and individuals can progress, tailoring their training results alongside other services including nutrition, strength and conditioning, and performance analysis.

For more information on Loughborough Sport’s physiology services visit its dedicated website here: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/sport/physiology/

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/234

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings – the sixth year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.