Quick Update

Metabolic testing was really interesting. I will do a full write up when the expert sends me his full report. We did both a resting metabolic test and one on the treadmill. 

If you’re considering getting a VO2 max test, be aware that the mask is kind of awful. I’m not claustrophobic (except when in crowds because I’m short and get panicky when I can’t see an exit — all I see is butts, lol), but by the end of the test, it was really hard to breathe with it on and I started freaking out. As soon as I stopped the treadmill, I was clawing at it and saying, “get this thing off me.” So there’s that. He had to use the “petite” mask on me, and it kind of pinched the bridge of my nose and also made it so my mouth couldn’t open much. 

But I think despite that, he got solid readings on me. Of course one immediate recommendation was to slow down my easy runs. Luckily, I have been slowing them down this training cycle, but some of this is due to the heat and humidity. He’s going to give me heart rate ranges to target, and right now my runs are a bit above his initial recommendations. He wants me around a 9:30 pace with a heart rate in the 130s for easy runs. 

One other observation was that he said there appears to be some sort of metabolic suppression indicated in my resting state vs my active state. I’m not entirely sure what he means by that, but I think he was saying my resting metabolic state wasn’t where he expected compared to how I performed (which was pretty well, I guess). He feels it’s probably a fueling issue and wants me eating the bulk of my daily calories before 2pm. That definitely would be a major change, not just for me but for my husband also since I’m usually the chef. 

I’m eager to hear what else the tester finds from the data. He works with a lot of professional athletes and also helped the guy who did my gait analysis achieve a 10 hour or so Ironman his first time trying (it was his first marathon ever too). I think he knows his stuff. Fingers crossed that I braved nearly suffocating in exchange for a plan to become a better, more efficient runner.

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11 thoughts on “Quick Update

  1. How much did this testing cost? I’m from the old school, and all of this talk about Heart Rate running, makes me want to jump on the band wagon. The allure of running a faster marathon always sounds enticing.

    But, then I hear that you have to slow down during your easy runs…..That doesn’t sound like fun at all… I tried that once earlier this year, and I wiped out pretty badly. I hate change.

    I can’t wait to hear about your progress 🙂

    • The test was $150.

      I’m not sure about the whole Maffetone thing where all the training is done at a super low heart rate (I can’t remember if that’s sort of what you did? I remember your post about slowing down — didn’t you have a spill?) but I don’t think that’s quite what this guy was talking about. From what I understand, he’s just suggesting I run at least one or more runs in the heart rate around the 130s, which corresponds to about a 9:30 for me, which isn’t too far off from where I’ve been running my easy paces. For the kid before me who runs 4:xx miles, he was suggesting an 8:00 for his easy runs. So for you, since you’re faster than me, I’d suspect he’d tell you to run something more reasonable for you (and not feel painfully slow and awkward) than what Maffetone-type programs would. And it’s still hard effort on hard days. I think I’d go insane if I had to do all my runs super slow.

      I should have more info when I get his full report and suggestions. You’re a pretty talented runner, and the test might help you get to the next level by pointing out places where you could build strength.

  2. I couldn’t do the mask either. Interesting about needing to eat your calories earlier. I’m discovering I do better when my main meal is at lunch or even breakfast.

  3. All of this sounds really interesting.
    I’ve been really focused on running my long runs slow which for me is 10:00 (my goal pace is (9:15). Last training cycle, I ran my long runs around the 9:30 pace and felt completely wiped out after. I’ve been finding now that I finish each long run with gas left in the tank and that’s helping to build confidence (which I lack unfortunately). Looking forward to reading more about this!

  4. sounds fun 🙂 VO2max testing is all well-and-good but what are you going to do with that data on an ongoing basis? vVO2max is more useful. Even more useful is to know your lactate threshold heart rate because from that you can quite accurately define your HR training zones.

    • We did figure out my lactate threshold as well bi just haven’t commented on it yet as I don’t have the final report and he didn’t give me any suggestions for those numbers in advance of the report. He just wanted to give me one quick recommendation for my easy runs to takeaway from the meeting, especially as I am marathon training at this time (vs short distances — I spent the first half of this year improving my speed and now the focus is leaning more towards endurance). The maximal end is where I was freaking out because of the mask making breathing feel even harder than it would otherwise.

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