Tuesday, April 3, 2012

VO2 Testing

Whenever I tell most people what my average heart rate is during a run, they say - wow, that's high. When I look at the heart rate ranges for someone of my age, I definitely am always above the recommended ranges. I can get my heart rate in the 140s with a fast walk. I am usually in the 170s during my longer runs and will hit 180s on the hills. And I don't feel like I am having a heart attack. I can pretty much talk to you unless I go into the 200s, then I feel like I need to slow down and walk for a bit. But talking with other runners, so are MUCH faster running with heart rates in the 150 makes me wonder if I am running at too fast a heart rate. I asked my Sports Chiro about this, and he said that some people operate at different ranges and you can't take a one size approach with heart rate ranges. To be truly accurate you have to do a Vo2 test.

So guess what I did on Tuesday?

I ran for 8:30 minutes with this crazy get up on my head (see video below) as the incline and pace kept getting faster every minute. I think I could have gone longer, but I was getting seriously claustrophobic with this get up on my face. I also was kinda freaking out thinking that I was going to trip and fall.

It is also not natural breathing in a mask while you are running.

It was enough to get the data they needed. He said anything more than 8 minutes is more for the elite runners to get Vo2 max bragging rights. I am not an elite runner - I was more worried about falling on my face. I don't need the bragging rights. I'll do this again in a few years and see if anything changed and see if I can go longer. The good news for me - is that I do operate in higher heart ranges than what is listed for the "average woman" my age. My Aerobic Threshold is reached at 178 and Anaerobic Threshold at 181. So my moderate zone is 178-181 and my high zone is 181-190, with my peak 190-193. Now I can do some heart range workouts more tailored to my body which I am pretty excited about. Oh ya, and the fact that I came in the "superior" fitness level category based on my age/Vo2 max. Boo-yah!

This "superior" physical fitness came in handy today since my nanny called in sick and I had to get in my run while pushing my girls in the double stroller. All 100 pounds of stroller and girls. And to make things even more fun, on my way back my tire was almost all the way flat, so I was pushing the final 2 miles with almost an entirely flat tire.
But I shouldn't whine too much- it was a gorgeous morning and I was able to get 5 miles in before I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Though, that may also been from the stress of arguing with a 4 year old why I couldn't stop every 4 feet to pick flowers, stop and play, get this, get that, stop messing with your sister, phew... I'm tired just rehashing it. But them Rowan would say something sweet and encouraging - like "mama, your winning!" and just make me laugh. I love those girls something fierce.

Next week is the Boston Marathon and I have several friends running it. I have signed up for text alerts and will be cheering you all on from afar. Such an amazing achievement and you all inspire me so much.

***It took me a while to find a place that does the Vo2 testing in Portland. OHSU doesn't seem to offer it anymore. I went to http://bridgetownpt.com/ .

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I'm kinda scared now. :-) But I'm really glad you posted the video to I know what to expect! Thank you.