Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Testing my VO2max

"Are you claustrophobic?" was the first thing Scott White of Personal Power Training asked me before we started the test. I'm not so I didn't think I would have a problem. Sadly, I was wrong.

I noticed lots of high-tech gadgets when I walked in the room – my kind of place! Scott weighed me, took my blood pressure and entered some data into the computer. He then started to fit the apparatus on my head. This picture is NOT me but the apparatus was exactly the same.

Notice the blue mouthpiece that I was supposed to breathe through and the blue clips pinching the nose. Well, it wasn't the most comfortable (or the most fashionable!) but I dealt with it.

I started walking on the treadmill – a slow walk – and just about 30 seconds into it, I felt like I couldn't breathe. I felt like I was suffocating. I pulled the whole thing off my head and said I couldn't do it. Scott calmed me down until I was ready to try it again. We got everything all connected again and I started walking. I felt that same panicky feeling but I calmed myself and worked through it. I felt successful. I was going to be able to do this!

Every minute or so, Scott adjusted the speed and/or incline to make me work harder. About 7 minutes into the test, I felt panicky again and this time I seriously could not go on. I pulled everything off again and said I just couldn't finish the test. I hope to be able to work myself up to go do the test again (and finish it) sometime in the future.

Have you had your VO2 tested? What was your experience?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gadget Girl Is NOT Happy!

First, I had an appointment to have my VO2max measured this morning at 8am. I had to be fasting which is hard for me because I eat breakfast first thing out of bed. I’m also NOT a morning runner so I was a little concerned about my performance. I get there at 8am and wait until 8:30 but the guy stood me up! I was disappointed! He apologized later and we’ve rescheduled for next week.

Yesterday, my new heart rate monitor flipped out and the screen went blank. I had to return it to the store where luckily they had another one to replace it. So as I set out for my C25K W5D2 today (which includes two EIGHT minute runs!), my new new HRM was reading 92% after my first run. Well, it was tough, but not THAT tough! And it read in the nineties several times so I’m not sure I trust it. I’ve rechecked all the settings and everything seems right.

To top it all off, my iPhone was freaking out. It randomly stopped the music and went to Voice Control which I had to cancel in order to get the music playing again. Then the music started randomly fast forwarding. I finally gave up and turned it off. Luckily, I was done running and I just walked the rest of the way home.

I love my gadgets, but they make me INSANE when they don’t work right!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another great gadget - my new Polar RS200sd

Part of me is ecstatic to see the calories burned on my new HRM - 650 in two hours of tennis and 450 for 3 miles - but I'm a little concerned that something's just not right. I've double checked all the settings for age, weight, etc. The only thing that's significantly different from my old HRM is that the new one "calculated" my VO2max and put me in an "elite" category, which I certainly AM NOT! I think I'm going to have to go have my VO2max measured before I believe it.

So the reason I chose the Polar RS200sd was because I am already familiar with the Polar models (I was using an F6) but I wanted to be able to time laps, or in my case, my walking and running segments. For that, I'm very pleased with this model. By reviewing these numbers from today's run, I can say that of the 39:40 minute run, 24:36 were actually running at an average pace of 11:32/mile and speed of 5.2 mph. This is the first time I've been able to see just how many minutes of my run I'm actually running and how many I'm walking.

While one of my goals is to speed up some, it's more important to me to decrease the overall walking time so that's what I hope to see in the coming weeks - more running, less walking.

C25K - Week 5, Day 1 was to alternate running for five minutes and walking for three minutes. I didn't quite do that, so I'll repeat.

What kind of HRM do you use? Do you know your VO2max?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Top 8+ Tricks To Use When You Can’t Go Another Step

So you’re out for a longer-than-usual run, or maybe you don’t have the energy you usually do and you just don’t feel like you can finish your run. What can you do?
  • Trick yourself to go “just three more houses” or “ten more trees” or "until six more cars go past you”
  • Slow down but keep running – thanks to @rondavis007
  • Think of how you’ll feel when you’re done with your run – thanks to @texastriathlete
  • Concentrate on the words of the music
  • Choose a mantra to repeat in your head (or out loud) – thanks to @dbigio
  • Think of ANYTHING else – thanks to @phatbob
  • Pump your arms (there really is a neurological reason this works)
  • Think of a new mental cue for the next 100 steps
  • Chest out to get the most volume on inhalation
  • Think of your feet moving the road (like a treadmill without the motor)
  • Increase your turnover rate (less time your feet are in contact with the road)
  • Feel like you’re floating on air
  • Look down on yourself and see yourself running well
What others can you add? I need two more to make it A Top Ten List!