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.