Triathlon - Can't Wait Until Tuesday
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02-27-05, 10:29 AM
Tuesday is going to be a fun day for me. My wife Donna and I are taking the day off from work and driving up to Atlanta. At 9:30 I'm going to have my Vo2 max tested along with determing appropriate HR zones for training, etc, etc, etc. There's a guy known as "Coach Chris" who offers this service and the fact that he's also a clydesdale is a plus in my book. I'll be doing the test on my bike hooked up to a computrainer. After reading several articles and books regarding HR zones it's going to be interesting to see what this guy recommends recommends for me. One of the biggest variances I have seen in different articles is what percentage of max each of the different zones use.
At 11:30 I'm taking my bike to All 3 Sports which is a tri-specific shop and having a fitting done. I've done some tweaking on my Equinox since I picked it up but feel there's something not quite right with my setup. I'll post a follow up Tuesday evening after we get back.
Sounds like it could be an educational day. In your follow up could you give us an idea of the $$ involved in this research and discovery. Just curious.
02-27-05, 03:28 PM
let us know how it goes
sounds really interesting...so far i've been retaught how to swim and this year i'm doing the same with running at the rehab institute of chicago
..this seems like something for next year
sweet. christmas in february :) ya, let us know how it goes.
02-28-05, 07:47 AM
That will be a really cool day! Make sure you give a detailed account, as I am considering doing some of this myself just for piece of mind and reassurance that I am training and riding the right way!
Cool. I had my Vo2 tested in January. It is very informative.
VO2 Max Test
I was lucky enough to win this test as a door prize from Cadence Cycling. A new Bike shop in Manyunk. So I went out, changed into running gear and did the test prep and review. Having to step on the scale one week after Christmas was not fun; but, the good side is when I get back to fighting weight, my stats will be better.
First up was the LT test. Based on my time at a 10k in October we would increase the speed of the treadmill every 3 minutes until LT was reached. I was also wearing the O2 mask. This took about 25 minutes to reach LT. Results: LT is at HR 170 @ 7:30 pace. My marathon pace should be about 8:20 for a sub 3:40. A Boston Qualifying time of 3:15 might be in the near future.
Next was the big test. If you have seen American Flyers, you know you have to run on an incline until you are about to keel over. They had a second guy behind the treadmill to catch me in case I did a face plant. They will set the treadmill at 7.7 and raise the incline 1% every minute. I just keep running as my HR goes up, up and away and I sound more like Darth Vader with each passing minute. I almost finished the 6% grade. He said I had a great test. Thanks, I can die now. Well, I did have a great test. Max HR was 187 and VO2 max was 51.0, fitness level – Superior. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.
03-01-05, 06:08 PM
So today was the big day. I'm glad we allocated 2 1/2 hours to get from our house in Warner Robins, GA up to Atlanta. We needed almost every minute of time to get to the testing center. I hate the traffic in Atlanta. I'm so happy Donna went with me so we could use the carpool lane :) My VO2 max testing was conducted by Coach Chris Andrus. Before going to him I had read much about him on his web site and from Google searches that I knew I was going to see someone that understands what it is like to be a clydesdale because he is one.
After we arrived and filled out the necessary paperwork Chris hooked my bike up to the computrainer, fitted me with the mask I would wear for this and subsequent tests and explained exactly what the test was designed to determine, etc. When I was ready I got onto the bike and started pedaling. Right away I knew something was wrong because my heartrate was jumping all over the place on the machine. At one point it jumped up to 225 BPM! Turns out the cadence transmitter on my Cateye double wireless computer was using the same frequency as the Polar HRM transmitter I was wearing. The faster I pedaled the higher my heart rate climbed on the machine. After removing the batteries from the cadence sensor of the Cateye we were good to go.
To complete the test I have to ride a minimum of 6 minutes up to a maximum of 20 minutes. Fortunately I made it to 8 minutes so we had a complete test. I began the test by spinning easily and periodically Chris would increase the tension on the computrainer. I continued to pedal and Chris informed me when we had reached a point that my Vo2 max was determined. After that Chris started increasing the resistance even more and I continued hammering as hard as I could while standing until I couldn't hammer any longer. At that time I sat down and started the recovery portion of the test. During this portion I did an easy spin on the pedals and for two minutes he recorded my heartrate as it dropped from its peak of 167 BPM. Once the test was complete I continued to spin easily as Chris printed out my results. Note: This test is a sub-maximal test meaning I'm not trying to determine my maximum heartrate. The highest number I've ever seen on a HRM while running is 180, today it spiked at 167.
After everything was printed I got off of the bike and toweled off. Chris then went over the test results with Donna and me. The results included three different sets of numbers. My aerobic threshold (where I'm totally aerobic while exercising) number is 15.8 which translates into a heartrate of 127 BPM. As long as I stay at or below 127 BPM I'm totally aerobic. Once I exceed this number I begin to get anaerobic. My anaerobic threshold (AT) number is 29.5 which translates into a heartrate of 151 BPM. My peak number seen at the end of the test was 35.3 and 167 BPM. At AT I was producing 240 watts of power and at peak I produced 280 watts. My peak of 35.3 puts me into the "fair" group of males aged 40 - 49 which basically means I'm in fair shape right now. My recovery needs some work, according to Chris. After 1 minute my heartrate dropped from a peak of 167 to 146 (37% drop) and after two minutes it dropped to 133 (59% drop). What this means is it takes me longer to recover from hard efforts. Chris provided me with some workouts to do to help improve this. After paying the fee of $100.00 Donna and I left with 7 pieces of paper and a laminated card with my target HR zones in it. Based upon an AT of 151 I now have the following zones to work with:
Zone 1 - Recovery 100 - 119 BPM
Zone 2 - Extensive Endurance 121 - 134 BPM
Zone 3 - Intensive Endurance 136 - 140 BPM
Zone 4 - Sub Threshold 142 - 149 BPM
Zone 5a - Super Threshold 151 - 154 BPM
Zone 5b - Anaerobic Endurance 156 - 159 BPM
Zone 5c - Power 160 - 165 BPM
After loading the bike into the Xterra we headed over to All3Sports for the bike fitting. Patrick was the guy doing my fitting. My heart skipped a beat when the first question he asked was "Has this bike been wrecked?" He was looking at the seat and noticed it was not sitting properly on the seat post. After removing the seat and taking the seat post apart he put everything back together and the seat was sitting properly. It's no wonder I haven't been comfortable on the seat it wasn't on straight :). He made several adjustments to the bars, they were not level with each other and were spread too far apart.
After he finished I got onto the bike and started pedeling while he watched me. After a couple of minutes he had me stop with my foot in different positions in the pedal stroke and measured the angle of the bend of my knee. He raised the seat a bit and I started pedaling again. We continued this cycle of pedal / measure for several minutes. He then checked my upper body positioning and made a couple of minor tweaks to my position. He said that I had done a pretty decent job of dialing in things myself. I'm going to put the bike on the trainer tonight and do one of my new Spinervals DVDs and see how things feel now that they're dialed in. The fee for the fitting was $100.00.
On the way home Donna and I stopped at Applebees and had lunch $31.00 and it cost us $23.00 in gas. Total bill for the day $254.00. At some point in time I'll go back to see Chris to get tested while running since your AT while running is different than your AT while biking.
Zack - sounds like a pretty full and fun day, thanks for posting the info. Also - that would have been pretty scary about an issue with the nice new bike, it made my stomach turn as I was reading it - glad it was not a problem for you. I have a small hair-line crack (about 2") in my clearcoat on my Trek-TT on the large down tube (on the side) which made me sick for weeks - Trek actually gave me a new frame, but the same thing happened...a common issue with the carbon team TT bike from what Trek tells me...still makes me sick though. Glad you were also able to tweek your bike in the fit and get it better for you. Don't forget to mark everything with a sharpe..the seat tube, the bars along the stem where it contacts the bars - better safe than sorry and you can never notice the small hairline marks that the sharpe leaves.
In the late 1980's I went through a simular test at the OTC in the pool (swimmers treadmill called the flume) and on the treadmill in Colorado Springs and 1-year later at the University of Denver (when they had their program) and had my body fat tested in a dunk tank. Inbetween the 2-tests about I focused on strength training and went from around 14% to 12% body fat. All in all the numbers are a great point to understand your training better and where you are at. I tend to spend time reviewing the data from my Polar 720i daily and weekly. One thing I want to point out about using HRM is to BACK UP YOUR DATA. I had computer issues and had to rebuild by main hard drive and lost 1-year of good hard core data from swim, bike and running in training as well as all my races - a real bummer. Now I back up all my Polar data on 2-drives...I hope to never loose the data again. At the Marine Corps Marathon in DC in 2001 I had a 171 HR pretty much the whole race - right there at the edge for me in a marathon. Understanding that this was my upper zone running limit - I knew that I really couldn't go much harder, so I stayed right there. I was lucky that it was a pretty cold day or I would have been toast as you always risk the "crash and burn" when you race on that upper limit edge. I use the HR Zone data to fine tune what I do each day - so on recovery runs - I force myself to use my HRM to keep me in a "recovery" zone. Also, on days that I go to the Track to run Yasso 800's, I can see later in the graph on the computer (from the Polar) that my HR doesn't recover all the way when I get to 8 and 9 intervals - all good information. The data changes as you get stronger - or the other way when you don't eat, drink or get enough sleep. PS. Just reading about Applebees at the end even at almost 1:00 AM it's making me hungry.
Thanks again for the post.
03-02-05, 08:05 AM
Man, that is some good information. I am glad that you gave such detail, as it gives me a good idea of what will happen when I go. I really need to do this, as I have just started training seriously and don't really know what zones I need to be in for what kind of training. Zack and MHR, both of you willl never know how much you two have helped to inspire my training and motivation. Thanks for your very informative posts and experiences! Keep 'em coming...
Great test. Proper fit is key. You will notice it on your next ride.
03-02-05, 10:39 AM
RoadToad: Do you have a test date scheduled yet? The hardest part for me was finding a place that would do the tests. I did several Google searches and finally found a guys blog entry where he summarized his test experience. One of the feedback posts was one with the name and number for coach Chris so I scheduled the test with him. One of the things Chris said yesterday that getting tested early is a smart thing to do. I now have the zones that I will use for the next several months as I do my build ups for my A priority races in June and October.
TriBob: You're right about the fit making a difference. I did the Spinervals Aero Base Builder II DVD last night and felt better on the bike than I had on any previous ride. I'm looking forward to getting it out on the road to see how it feels.
03-02-05, 11:49 AM
No test date scheduled yet. Heck, I don't even know where to go! I am in the process of researching... If anybody knows of a good place around DFW... Money is another issue; I would love to be able to find a college program that I could sneak into for this sort of thing for savings. It's not like I am destitute by any means, but it seems like everything I want to do (race, upgrade, testing, etc.) is putting a dent in my wallet. My wife is cool, but even she is starting to lift an eyebrow at my expenditures...
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