Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Numbers

Here are my results for the VO2Max/Metabolic test from Tuesday:

VO2Max: 36.4 (Fair, Male 30-39 age range)
Aerobic threshold limit: 138 bpm
Anaerobic threshold limit: 161 bpm
Max HR measured: 183 bpm (I think it could have been higher, but I was seriously tired and hungry due to fasting for 12+ hours and no breakfast).

Workout Zones calculated from the test:

Low Zone: 79-138 bpm
Moderate Zone: 138-161 bpm
High Zone: 161-178 bpm
Peak Zone: 178-183 bpm

Here's the interesting thing that I found when calculating my zones based on the Maffetone calculations and Stu Mittleman's MAP (Most Aerobic Pace), MEP (Most Efficient Pace), SAP (Speedy Anaerobic Pace):

MAP Zone: 120-140 bpm
MEP Zone: 140-150 bpm
SAP Zone: 150-170 bpm

The low zone and MAP zone are pretty close to each other. The SAP zone is alot smaller than the high zone, but I think it's simply due to the test being able to lock on at where my body gets into an anaerobic state. The moderate zone and high zone however seem to overlap with the MEP and SAP zones. I'm thinking that the moderate zone could be broken up as "moderate 1" (ranging from 138-150 bpm) and "moderate 2" (ranging from 150-161 bpm). I remember when I heart rate trained before and there was a point where there was a point called the "steady-state pace". The steady-state pace feels like you're not going too slow or too fast and you could hold your pace for a considerable distance. The steady-state pace is where most long distance races are done at when you get past the first 5-10 miles. My guess is that I'll be in the steady-state in moderate 1 and if I have to gently pour on the juice without totally ditching the fat-burning, I can shift to moderate 2 before having to go more balls-out in an event.

The 42 day schedule is something that is less than desired for running junkies. Here's the first week alone:

Day 1: Run 8 minutes in low zone, 3 minutes below low zone (which means I might have to just stand still), run 8 minutes in low zone. That's it.
Day 2: Run 15 minutes in low zone, 3 minutes below low zone (more standing still), run 15 minutes in low zone.
Day 3: Rest (yeah, rest after doing that itty-bitty work from day 1 and day 2)
Day 4: Repeat Day 2.
Day 5: Repeat Day 3. (Yep, another rest day!)
Day 6 & 7: Repeat Day 2.

But the following weeks do start to look a bit better. More mixing of zones, meaning moving a bit faster for some of the time. 10 minutes low, 5 minutes moderate, repeat. This is where everything looks more promising.

I'm so glad that I've already semi-started with the low-HR training and have gotten alot of the frustrations out of the way. Added bonus is that I can add more duration of the workouts provided I maintain the pattern of the workout. And my research does show that the more time you put in, the faster the adaption will occur.

I'm looking forward to the next 42 days after the Pigtails Flat Ass. Bring it!


King Arthur said...

That 42 day plan looks like it was made for someone just getting off the couch for the first time.

I'd say multiply each day by 3 or 4. Also I'm a big fan to 2-a-days.

Reduced to its simplest form, training is all about stress and recovery. ... Where's the stress?

INCREASE the stress by 10% per week and you'll get to the base you need.

Just my $.02

Jon said...

Did you get the VO2Max testing too? The test seems to shake-up what everyone is used to, so I guess it makes EVERYONE turn into a first-time couch potato that has no clue on how to burn fat as their primary fuel source.

Yeah, Eric did say that I can add more time as long as I maintain the pattern. So I can go for 4-6 hours if I want as long as I repeat the pattern that the plan for that day. The stress increases do go up weekly and the long run that is scheduled after the 3rd week looks pretty normal (close to 2 hours and it incorporates some anaerobic threshold moments).

The stress that you're questioning that looks like its missing occurs after the first week where your base builder run consists of you running in your aerobic zone and aerobic threshold, switching back and forth every few minutes.

And I'm definately going to do as many two-a-days as possible, during my work lunchhour to get about 30-40 minutes worth of time and either after work or if I'm more motivated, at 3am before work (but I doubt that 3am thing will ever happen soon).

Istvan said...


I've read a little bit about HR Training, but don't know about this "low HR training" you have chosen.

Why start so LOW, and does it get more intense later?

Maniac Istvan

Jon said...

Hey Istvan! Low HR training is used when you want to condition your body to use fat as its primary fuel source when racing/working out/living day-to-day. There are points when your body chooses whether to tap into fat or sugar for energy. Low intensity taps into fat, high intensity taps into sugar. Low HR training allows you to become more efficient in using fat, which then can make you faster without having to exert as much effort.

The training does get more intense later once you reach a point where your speed doesn't increase in your fat burning zone. But these intense training sessions are done about 10-15% of your overall workouts per week at best.

Personally, I like the idea of being able to run faster than I can now without having to feel like I'm forcing it. It would be awesome to run a ultra and not feel gassed at the end.

Istvan said...

Thanks Jon,

I've ordered Maffetone's book, and will start reading. Hope it can be adapted to a 3-days-a-week training program. My 65 year old body loves the rest days ... and seems to recover better with rest days.