Sunday, November 19, 2006

V02 Max Testing And Other Boring Running Stuff

It's been a long time since I've had a PR of any kind so I'll take it. I ran 71 miles this week which is a mileage PR for me. The legs are feeling pretty good. I did a 22 miler at Forest Park yesterday and capped it off with 11 miles in the rain today. I bit of slow start as I was feeling the 22 from the day before but I got it going soon enough. Also, happy to report that the aerobic pace is getting quicker. The route today was slightly rolling with some hills thrown in and I was able to maintain a 8:35 / mile pace with an ave HR of 147 (low Z1).

I was able to finagle my way into a study being conducted at the NSRL (Nike Sport Research Lab) that involves several VO2 max and sub-maximal HR tests based around the testing of some running garments. Not too sure on the specifics of the actual garments they are testing but I think they are gauging the workload during exercise and the recovery 1-2 days after since we have to come in for daily blood lactate testing for the 3 days post-test.

I did my first VO2 max test this past Tuesday and before I give you the results, let me give you my excuses! ;-) I did a 20 / 11 / 5 mile run the three days before the test and all of my running has been very aerobic in nature for the past couple of months. It was a definite shock to the system to get on the treadmill and go for it at paces I haven't seen in ages, if ever! I was hooked up to the system measuring oxygen uptake (mask with all breathing in/out of mouth with nose pinched off) and started running on the treadmill with an increase in pace every two minutes. I started at an easy 8:30/mile pace and felt in control as pace increased into the low 6's but once I hit 5:40/mile pace, the check engine light came on and I had to stop the test about 1 minute into the 5:40 pace.

A couple of observations:
1. It probably was not a good idea to head into this test having run 36 miles in the previous 3 days.
2. It is very tough if you haven't been incorporating regular speedwork into your training.

I am sure my body was fatigued since right before I quit, I was monitoring my HR and saw that it maxed out at 190 vs. the 200 I have seen before. Okay, enough with the excuses- my V02 max tested out at 59-60. I guess I don't need to worry about winning any marathons regardless of how much training I do! ;-) Having said that, I am all about improving my running economy and am sure that I could boost that V02 max number with regular speedwork but rather than V02 max, I'm more concerned with what pace I can maintain while running at marathon-specific HR. More work in that dept. coming up in the next couple of months. It was still an interesting test and I have to hit the NSRL two more times in the next month for more testing so it should be interesting.

Run Summary - Week of 11/13/06
7 Days Running
71 Miles Total
Mon 5
Tue 3.5 (Testing)
Wed 11 (5 am / 6 lunch)
Thu 10.5 (4.5 am / 6 pm)
Fri 8
Sat 22
Sun 11

I am headed down to Cali next week to get some much needed sunshine and time with Deb and the family. I checked the weather forecast for Orange County and i'm looking at sunny days (high 60's / low 70's) with the exception of a cloudy Wednesday- I'll take it!

I hope you all have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving next week. Count your blessings, do not take anything or anybody for granted, appreciate the "gifts" you've been given, and remember that the glass is always half full! ;-)



Blogger Paul Fleuren said...

keep it up Mike

This is some of the most impressive training I've seen, and to top that off with a V02 max test. Awesome stuff.

I'm going for a run.


10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's official - you have the perfect job! Nike, VO2 max tests because someone is testing clothing? Yes, indeed, I think you have the perfect job.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I am geeked out with those numbers. Can't wait to see your next VO2 test.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the vo2 max stuff is really interesting, thank you for posting your results. i'm plan to go do it the first week of january, then hopefully i'll be on the right road with my training.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Have a great Thanksgiving. Enjoy the weather. Funny. I'm going to NorCal to get my rainy, chilly weather fix.

7 days of running? Jeez. Take it easy. (Like I'm one to talk.)

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sounds like you had a great week of solid running capped off the your VO2 max test. Your post was interesting stuff. I will be looking forward to reading how you do when you are tested again.

4:15 PM  
Blogger robtherunner said...

Congratulations on the PR mileage week. Sounds like the base is being built.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving in Cali.

7:32 PM  
Blogger qcmier said...

Maybe you should try to squeeze a second workout in the same Nike test gear.

I am really impressed with your training and hope to incorporate some of those elements into my own workouts.

Happy Thanksgiving.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Mike, you're incredible. 71 miles! I have only ever run 50, and by no means did my legs feel "good" that week. Congrats!

Also, thanks for your encouragement and kind words. I really appreciate your support. It has been a tough couple of months for me, but I am hopeful I will pull through. Thanks so much again.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

May your glass be full this wonderful holiday week!

Fly safe!

4:21 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

7 days, 71 miles - I'm in awe.

Looks like the weather down here is finally going to cool down a little. You'd think it was still summer if you didn't check the calendar.

Enjoy and appreciate!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

Heya Mike.
71 mile week PR - *awesome* stuff. Your weekend runs are epic. Here's a link you might be interested in - it's about a cross country skier whose VO2 is 90!

4:17 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

Oops. Here the WHOLE link. :)

4:18 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

Hmm.. don't why it keeps getting off. Anyway, the last part should read bjorn.htm
(the n.htm was cut off)

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mike!You are rockin! I'm glad that I finally made the time to check out your blog.

I visited Road Runner today in San Diego and am further inspired to get back to running. It is the least of my favorites in the tri. You know it is always those things that you don't want to face that are your greatest challenge. But my motivation is renewed by you and those that love the sport so much.

Enjoy the sunshine!! We are! :-) ~j

11:49 AM  
Blogger olga said...

Dude, 60 is a GREAT number, stop complaining! Don't forget, the regular human "sitting" has about 30 and an athlete - about 50-60. Of course, Matt Carpenter got it made for him at 92 (or so), but then again, he is no human:)

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming from an exercise physiologist, just remember that VO2 max is a measure of fitness, not of performance ability. Some of the best marathoners in the world have relatively average VO2 max's among the elites (Alberto Salazar is an example with a 73) and some have incredibly high VO2 max's with average elite-marathon speed (Joan Benoit with a 78). There are many other factors affecting performance. By your speed at which have you done races, this means you have a superior running economy (great heart, muscles, blood flow, etc. which gives you the ability to reach high speeds). So don't let that VO2 number own you. You are one fast dude!

1:05 AM  

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