On Saturday I spent half an hour running on a treadmill attached to a snorkel hose and headgear while being tortured by exercise physiologists who were taking blood from my fingertip every 3 minutes. Peak Training came from Vancouver with their mobile lab.
This was awesome actually. I have not done a VO2 lab test in about 10 years (since University) and I have never done a Lactate test for running (only cycle ergometer). V.Cool indeed. I have done VO2max tests on the treadmill and in the field while digging fire gaurd and running hose in firefighting simulating tests (all while hooked up to the snorkel, hose and wearing an O2 tank on my back:). I am an exercise phys nut and LOVE pouring over the results, spotting correlations and creating training plans with all the data. Sometimes I wish I could go back to Uni just to play in the lab:)
Anyways it was a good test and I think I was quite near my max. Funny, it wasn't my lungs or breathing that made me quit but rather my leg speed. I just didn't think I would be able to keep up the speed at the next level without falling off the back of the treadmill! SO weird to voluntarily quit! Never in my training or racing does quit enter my mind until the finish line. I am constantly pacing myself to sustain various effort levels or durations. Constantly finding the balance that will allow me to keep going. Quitting does not exist in my world. Unless of course there is an injury or illness that I am taking care of. So, to be required to pull the pin and decide when you have had enough was a very novel experience...
I kind of wish that I had known what speed someone else had done so I could have a number to try and beat. Give me a bar and I will do everything I can to raise it. But I was the last to be tested and there was no one else around. Just me and my mind. I played quite a few mental strategies/games during the test and all with instant results. I realize the direct control our thoughts have over our sense of fatigue and yesterdays test was no exception! Positive self talk is an amazing tool that you have to start training with if you aren't already. I believe that individuals who can talk themselves out of pain and fatigue are much more successful in pushing towards their genetic training limits. If you want to improve you have to train your thoughts as well as your body. Food for thought!
So the results are very cool and include: VO2Max, Lactate predicted HeartRate Zones as well as fuel usage at each intensity. This is the gold standard that all other field tests are compared against and it was a great opportunity to participate in this mobile lab. Now I must crunch numbers and incorporate all of this awesome data into my own personal plan as well as my clients training programs. Good fun!
Friday/Saturday were rest days for me this week as I will supposed to avoid intense activity for 2 days leading up to the test. Today, however, I was back on the bike and LOVING this beautiful sunny December day! Great ride in Cumby: 2andaJuice, BuggeredPig, up the road to BearBuns, OffBroadway, ShortandCurly, Soggy Biscuit, Matts and Spaace Nugget. Great ride and my bike took me down some new steep sections! Hurray!
One more week till I am cruisin...