Showing posts with label Vo2max. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vo2max. Show all posts

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm early middle aged fit

Weather induced headache
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles 

TGIF and I mean it. This week has been tough and the traffic during my commute has grown increasingly worse since the end of summer. Yesterday's rainy weather provoked one of my sinus headaches, along with pounding pressure and exhaustion. I took advantage of working from home today by sleeping a little later. That, plus a couple of ibuprofen, helped minimize the discomfort.

I haven't had a chance to run since Monday, so once I felt a little better I headed outside. Cool temps, clear skies and low humidity made for great conditions. I felt some residual fatigue due to the sinus pressure, but I got around okay. Not my hardest effort, but still a good workout.

During my run I thought about a test I took on this website that supposedly calculates your "fitness age." The site is put on by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the test covers a lot of factors. This is not "Find out what kind of tree you are in five questions."  I answered honestly and my fitness age calculated to 41. Better still, my VO2 Max score was 48, which is considered excellent for my age group.

My buddies SIOR and TPP scored in the "teen to grad student" age range, not a surprise because they are both extremely fit. If you don't believe me, try keeping up with them on the hills at Bethpage. If I truly have the fitness of the average 41 year old man, then I have to conclude that 41 year olds run slower than I thought.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A four minute workout that beats an hour's worth of exercise

4 minutes a day - only $14,000!
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

The skies were clear when I got up this morning but I decided to take the easier road with an indoor run. Part of it was due to time. I'd slept up to my alarm, giving me only 15 minutes to prep, get outside and run. I'm sure that 15 minutes sounds like a lot but, in the early morning, time goes by like a freight train. That is, until you are on the treadmill, where every minute feels like three.

As I ran through my workout this morning, I thought about an article I read on about Tabata training. This training method involves a short duration program (< 5 minutes) consisting of 20-second maximum-intensity sprints separated by 10-second recovery periods. According to the article, a study compared stationary cyclists doing hour-long, moderately intensive, workouts (control group) to another group that did the Tabata training.

Both groups did five workouts a week for six weeks. The control group's weekly duration was 5 hours while the Tabata's totaled just 20 minutes. The control group improved their VO2 max by 9.5% with no change to anaerobic capacity. The Tabata group improved their VO2 max by 14 percent and improved their anaerobic capacity by 28 percent!

It made me think of that $14,000 ROM machine they've been advertising in the back of Popular Science since my college days. The claim is that this machine gives you a complete workout in four minutes a day. If Tabata is for real, then perhaps that's really true. But according to the article, any maximum intensity workout will do the job. You certainly don't need to spend $14K to get the same benefit as pushups.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Speeding along

I have 39 days to train for my 4 miler in April. For those who have run many races my countdown is probably a little dramatic but it's my first race since returning to running. I was looking at my run data this weekend and noticed how my average pace time has improved between September and today. I look at the improvements over the first five months as organic, that is, directly related to improved fitness and weight loss. Obviously, running with less weight and better Vo2max capability will yield better performance. My pace history describes a Pareto curve with earliest times in the low 13:00 range, following a steep decline until it plateaus at around 9:50. Last month, with the encouragement of some of my more experienced running friends, I started integrating faster segments into my regular runs. As I've become more comfortable with faster paces I've held them longer and the result has been to move down that curve even more. My average pace for February had improved to about 9:30 and over the past two weeks it's closer to 9:15. This weekend I did my two long runs below 9:10 so I really like the direction,

This morning I decided to push the pace to the edge of my comfort zone and after starting around 9:30 I quickly turned up the speed about 8% and ended up running 2.05 miles at 8:46. Needless to say I'm happy with that performance. What I don't know is how well I'd have done if I had time to run another 2 miles. This weekend I almost broke 9:00 for 4 miles but almost doesn't count. Well it counts a little I guess.

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