LT/VO2 Testing

After a fun recovery week from Xterra West Championships, it was finally time to get the LT/VO2 testing done at Carmichael Training Systems. Yesterday, I did the bike tests and today I finished up with the run testing. Always fun times - trying to go to max effort wearing a snorkel! I've had a bike testing series done before, at BCSM last year, so I was looking forward to seeing what kind of improvments I'd made on the bike. It was also helpful in that I knew what was going to happen, with the wattage increases, the relentless fingersticks and getting asked "how hard is this effort?" but not really being able to answer because of the headgear. And that's just the LT test. The VO2 is even worse - it's a max test and the pain continues until you stop. I was nervous about the run testing. Back in undergrad, we did some sub-max tests, but nothing with the head gear. I didn't know how running with that on would feel like.

The bike test went well. The LT testing is funny - it's comfortable, easy to maintain, then boom. The watts go up and all of a sudden things aren't comfortable anymore! I'm pretty happy with the numbers we got. There was definatly a signifigant increase in both my lactate threshold and my VO2 max. And the increase in watts for the VO2 max was huge. But there is still room for improvement and that's going to be the fun part. Numbers are great, but you have to be able to use the data for training to see improvement. With focused training like Adam as been doing and with patience, I'm very hopeful for the rest of the season. And for next year.

Having never done a LT/VO2 test for running, I had no baseline for performance. When I was trying to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials, I just picked the pace I needed and did my workouts at or faster. But that was in 2003 and when I was running huge mileage. Because the bike has been the weakest link, Adam and I haven't been focusing on the run. I haven't been doing any track workouts, so I haven't been challenging the top end speed at all. That made the test pretty hard. I could really tell when I was reaching the speed where my body was not used to running. We'd guessed at where the LT might be, based on history and recent performances. And we pretty close! So again, room for improvement. Training the right systems and focusing the run balanced against the bike will be very important


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