Well, I think I can safely say I'm not sick anymore. I have a tiny cough but I can feel that it's on its way out. I wasn't able to do the Resting Metabolic Rate testing like I'd planned but I did get the VO2 Max testing done. I'll tell you all about that in just a bit.
But first, a quick exercise recap. I skipped the gym in the early part of the week because of my cold. Come Wednesday I was getting a little stir crazy so I went to the gym for what was to a "light" workout. Well, the only thing light about it is that I did 15 minutes on the upright bike instead of my normal 25. And I did those 15 minutes at Level 9 (instead of my normal Level 8). After the bike I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training. It was a quick one, my whole workout only lasted 49 minutes.
Thursday came around and I was dragging. I'd slept terrible on Wednesday night. Add to that, I was pressed for time, tired and I noted in my gym log that I was "still coughing". I did 10 minutes on the elliptical followed by what back/biceps/core work I could squeeze into the 40 minutes I had to exercise. So two workouts, for the week. Considering I was struck with a cold, I'll consider that a win.
|The treadmill and computer for testing|
We spent some time chatting about how we both believe more people, specifically more average athletes (my words, not his) like myself, should get all the information they can about their bodies' composition and function. Not even "athletes" but anyone who wants to improve his/her fitness and overall health. Michael pointed out that it's not all about running faster but about having all the information to help us achieve health and fitness in general. I liked that.
|Michael getting my mask on tight|
Then Michael began increasing the pace, usually only .5 at a time, or the elevation, .5 - 1% at a time. He reminded me I can stop anytime I need to for a break.
Over the next 5-10 minutes I went from a 2.5mph 0% incline walking pace to running at 7.5mph at a 4 incline! I couldn't believe I could run for even 1 second at that pace and incline. Michael let me know we'd hit my Anaerobic Threshold and that I could stop anytime I wanted...it was probably less than 10 seconds after that that I stopped.
After a cool down we sat down to go over my numbers.
My VO2 Max is 39. From what I've read, that's not bad for a woman my age. It's nothing to write home about either. Michael and I discussed how while you will often hear Vo2 max is largely genetic, that you can improve it (maybe even by as much as 20%) by losing weight and improving your base level of aerobic fitness.
I have to tell you, I've done a ton of reading over the past week related, in one way or another, to VO2 Max. I've learned how oxygen getting into your body involves two major steps, first is your body's ability to transport oxygen from your lungs to the mitochondria and then the rate at which the mitochondria can reduce the oxygen for use in energy expenditure. I'm sure some scientist would balk at my probably over-simplified explanation but it works for me. It sounds like most of us suffer from the limits of our bodies getting the oxygen to the mitochondria but I even read that for some couch potatoes, their mitochondria might also be slow on the uptake.
Aaaanyway...this is not really relevant to my training better, unless you count having a base understanding of what all this means as relevant. So, my Vo2 max is 39, but what I found even more interesting was the zones the machine determined based on my Vo2 and heart rate.
Heart rate: 80-116
At this zone I burn between 164-424 calories per hour
Heart rate: 116-154
At this zone I burn between 424-645 calories per hour
Heart rate: 154-165
At this zone I burn between 645-725 calories per hour
Heart rate: 165-168
At this zone I burn between 725-751 calories per hour
This fits with what my subjective experience has been. When my heart rate hits 170 I usually know it's time to dial it back. Michael and I spent some time discussing the benefits of training in different zones, what's to be gained by staying in the low/moderate zones vs the high and maybe even intervals into the peak zone - or beyond!
Next week we're doing my Resting Metabolic Rate testing. Michael said the RMR numbers "will bring everything together" in terms of understanding how my body uses energy, oxygen, etc. I can't wait for that information! And thank you to Michael for working with me, I'm learning so much!!
On that happy note, I'll end this post because I'm getting tired. I'll have to tell you about today's painful 3.5 mile run in my next post. Not all runs can be great, right?
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