Monday, November 23, 2009

Bright Lights, Big City, Biking and Bruises

Happy Tuesday!
I just got home from ELM Sunrise Bootcamp and although we didn't actually see the sunrise, we were warm and dry on this mild November morning:) Perfect day for 'descending sets' out on the Comox Marina boardwalk and the crew pushed hard through a tough training session. GREAT JOB!

Brad and I left the rock this past weekend for a little mainland adventure. And the city is always a true adventure for us! We were both there for courses but we got to enjoy the city scene after class and got our sushi fix for the next while!

FRIDAY I had the opportunity to go to the Peak Centre Lab on Hastings. I was reunited with Exercise Physiologists, Paul and Mike whom I had the pleasure of meeting when they came to the Valley last fall with their mobile testing lab. Last year I completed my tests for the run...this year it was for the bike.

I started with an Aerobic Threshold test on the run so that I could compare my Zone 1 numbers to last year. Then I moved over to the bike and did the full meal deal for my bike zones.

FYI: Lactate testing is the gold standard for determining heart rate zones. All of the field tests and age prediction equations that we use to figure out our heart rate zones are useful and convenient tools but they will never be as acurate as the blood lactate test.

Here is how it works: You warm up thoroughly then your friendly lab tech (see Liz, below, torturess) pricks your finger to take a blood sample. The speed or resistance (bike) is increased every 3 minutes and a new sample is given. Once your blood lactate acumulates to certain values, your heart rate is noted and your 5 training zones are created based on the concentration of lactate in your blood sample.

Not only do you create an acurate heart rate training zones using lactate testing, but you also identify your limiting factors in the process. This will help guide your training focus so that you are being as efficient as possible with your training time. I can't wait to get my results and get the next phase of my own training plan underway for the coming season:)

You can tell I get all excited about this:) I am an exercise physiology nut. The lab was my favorite place ... well other than the field hockey pitch ... to spend time in University. Exercise phys is one of my true passions and I miss spending time in the lab! It was a highlight of my weekend for sure:)

I know I shouldn't be smiling in these photos but like I said, I love this stuff! Luckily there wasn't a camera around when I was grunting and groaning and crying on my final maximal stage on the bike!
Liz sucking my blood...evil exchange student:)))

Post test I am all smiles! That was after they cleaned up the hurl and picked me up off the floor...

I was in a 2 day course with the National Coaching Certification Program NCCP: Part A - the first of 5 parts of the Canadian Level 2 Cycling Coach Certification. The entire weekend was theory and I must admit my butt was way more sore after sitting for 2 days than it would be after the equivalent time in the saddle!
But WOW what a great instructor and fantastic start to the certification process! We were given the opportunity to learn from one of the top cycling coaches in Canada: Dan Proulx, the Canadian National Mt Biking Coach! I felt honoured to be in the same room with such an elite level coach - just having access to a resource of that calibre was well worth a sore butt!
We are the first class of coaches in the new cycling BC/NCCP certification program and it is all very exciting:) Small class with a wide range of backgrounds - everything from top level coaches in other sports to up and coming, young, local racers with Olympic dreams. V. inspiring and I am pumped to coach more cycling in 2010!
All in all it was a great weekend in the big smoke:) I am back at er full speed today however as I am working on finishing up some very BIG ELM projects and there don't seem to be quite enough hours in the day so I better gooooooo!
Have a great week!

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