Thursday, January 22, 2009

VO2 Max

So remember a few weeks ago I was talking about signing up for and doing a VO2 test, well I did manage to get it in. It had had to be rescheduled because the equipment wasn’t working for about a week, but it was finally back up and I did it this past Tuesday. This meant some fasting before (easy enough since I don’t normally eat before a shorter workout anyway), no caffeine (not a problem because I don’t have to have coffee to start my day, although I think I’m starting to get that way!). It also required me not to be sick, consume alcohol, stimulants, drugs (no meth that night before, that was tough!), get a good nights sleep, etc…so I went to bed early on Monday and did get a good nights sleep and was up for the test…although I honestly was not looking forward to it. I kind of dread hard workouts sometimes, and this one, while I knew it wasn’t long, I knew it was going to hurt.

It started with me doing a 5 minute walk at a 3.0 mph to warm up. That was easy. Oh, and of course I was wearing the lovely mask…it wraps around your head and has a plastic tube coming off it that is connected to the computer, along with a HRM that is connected to the treadmill which is reading it off you. The HRM that I have wouldn’t work with the treadmill though, so I had to use one of the ones they have there. While I was warming up, I was asked what I "normally" run...well, that's hard to answer since it depends on the workout, but I said for an easy 30 minutes probably 8:30-8:45 (of course not often that I run just 30 minutes, since I go in miles and shortest is usually 4 which is usually 32-36). After the warmup so she bumped it to 4.0, I walked that a couple of minutes and then it was up to 5.0 which is the break point for me where if I really tried hard I could walk, but it’s easier to start a light job, next was 6.0 which I told her still felt pretty easy, so we went to 7.0 and asked how that was and it all felt comfortable so she said we’d stay there, and after a minute or two is when the fun beings. The incline. From 0 to 2, then up to 4, then 6 and finally 8 while she watched my HR...I need to clarify exactly when she knew it was done as she said another 10-15 seconds she could tell it was going to be done shortly, and I know it had something to do with my HR not going up as much as it had been and/or kind of peaks. It was around 180 that this was happening. This all took about 14 minutes…then I walked a bit to cool down, and got my recovery HRs recorded as well.

The main thing, other than the VO2 max that this test determines, is your AT (anaerobic threshold) from where you jump to burning more fat and fewer carb calories to almost exclusively carb calories. It also told me, how much I personally burn for calories and what part carbs vs fat for each minute of exercise when I’m in certain heart rate zones. My AT starts in Zone 4, the 175-185 HR zone, which is good, since that is actually about the zone I start pushing on harder workouts, but most of my recovery and long runs and even the early parts of a marathon are, so I burn more fat in those places, which is good since that’s my biggest workout zone! It won’t take too much training either, to push the AT up a bit and actually burn more fat in those zones. Basically how I see it is I can run fairly fast and still burn more of what I want to burn namely the fat!!

Now my VO2 max, which of course is the number most runners are familiar with came for me to be 46.2. Basically this puts me in the 90th percentile for my age group. And then running the numbers with Daniels, based on my times for marathon, half marathon and 5K, it comes pretty close in predicting. My 5K time was exactly on, the other two had me in the 44 range (guess, as I’ve said, I can run a faster marathon and half, although I know I can run a faster 5K too).

After the test, based on what I picked for my “goal” (weight loss, fitness or performance) it provided a list of workouts I should focus on. Since all are goals of mine, we put in fitness and the workouts provided aren’t even close to what I’m doing for my training, but oh well. Guess they are something to look at for a few days, here and there? I mean when you have 1 minute intervals, what can you do with that??

5 comments:

Runner Leana said...

Sounds like you definitely got some useful information from the test. Hope your Boston training is going well!

Annette said...

That's very cool. What great info. to have about where you're at. Sounds like you're healthy and strong, too. Awesome! :)

RunToFinish said...

wow that just sounds really informative! How did you find a place to go to...should I just google?

Chelsea said...

Very cool. Makes me want to get mine tested...

Firefly's Running said...

Very interesting! I really need to get mine tested.