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Lab Rat: VO2 running test

mhowoodby mhowoodFeb 28th 2011
Lab Rat: VO2 running test
I'm taking part in a Marathon Study for PHD student, Jessica Hill, at St Marys University College, Teddington. It's investigating the effectiveness of different recovery strategies that are used to help reduce muscle damage and soreness following a Marathon.

Today was the VO2 test and it produced some interesting results.
I've only ever had guestimates of my VO2, though online pace predictors, so it was nice to get some accurate data that I can take on to the Brighton Marathon on April 10th.

Jess started by collecting health history, taking height and weight (I'm shrinking) and then a series of respiratory tests that measured my lung capacity (very good), before getting on the treadmill.
The first treadmill session consisted of a series of 3 minute stages, with the pace increasing after every blood sample from my ear. We started at a sedate 10kph and topped out at 16kph after 36 minutes. This data will give us my Blood Lacate Turning Point / Aerobic Threshold, and it's this data that will inform my pacing for Brighton.
After a 10 minute break, it was time for the max effort. The treadmill maintains a 15kph speed and effort is applied by increasing the gradient every minute. I topped out at 189BPM after 7 minutes and a 7% gradient - I just couldn't get enough air through the mask! I was sucking in 2 breaths to every exhale. Tough. This last test gave me a VO2 Max of 61.2.

I don't have the final data yet but early indications are that my Lactate Turning Point is somewhere north of 14kph, which should see me run sub-3hrs... but anything can happen on the day!

Today was the easy part. I've still got to run a marathon around Bushy Park on March 12th, so that Jess can collect blood samples to test for muscle damage and recovery over 3 consecutive days. Starting to feel like a human pin cushion!
I won't be running Bushy Park at my Marathon Pace, as I'm viewing it as a long run, so will be looking to finish it in 3:30 and just in time for lunch. Hungry just thinking about it.
mhowoodby blog author: mhowood, Mar 16th 2011 11:25
Update: ran in 3:17. More a social long-run than anything else.
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