Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The numbers game

September 16th seems so long ago. Oh yeah, I guess it was four weeks ago that I was on campus at "The" Ohio State University undergoing a "stress" test to determine my max HR, VO2 max, LT threshold and body composition. I know I've been slow in getting the information out but I wanted to digest the data thoroughly before posting anything. Of course I am posting it right before racing in the Baltimore Half Marathon this Saturday. So here goes.

The tests. Body composition consisted of three tests to determine body fat. The skinfold test with calipers, dunking in the hydrostatic tank and a trip in the space age Bod Pod.

The skinfold test is the most popular test and I was pinched three times to get my averages on the chest, abdomen and thigh.

The hydrostatic tank required you to exhale all of the air in your lungs to get a good reading while submerging yourself under water.

The bod pod measured your air displacement, I think. I like the bod pod because it provided the best numbers.

Skinfold: 15.6%
Hydrostatic: 15.6%
Bod Pod: 10.9%

I think the variances on the skinfold and tank bring it down to the 10% range. Interesting.

The stress test was performed on a treadmill. Officially it was a maximal Graded Exercise Test. The treadmill was put at my marathon/half marathon pace, around 8 MPH starting at a .5% incline. Every two minutes the incline was raised 2% and blood was taken. I was hooked up to an EKG machine, wore a HRM strap and had this cool breathing mask on to measure oxygen intake and output. The video was taken by Aimee while I was on the treadmill. I lasted about 14 minutes and the grade was up to 10.5%.

Here are the raw numbers:
Max HR: 188
VO2 Max: 65.8 ml/kg/min
Lactate Threshold HR: 168
LT VO2: 59.2 ml/kg/min
The LT numbers are 90% of my max HR.

Now the professor conducting the research and Coach Kara have all sorts of formulas and training information that I will share in small doses. The formula she gave me below is to estimate your finishing time based upon your VO2 max.

VO2 mlkgmin = 0.2(speed)+3.5 mlkgmin

This formula helps you determine your race speed when divided by 26.8 meters/min = 1MPH. You also have to figure out at what percentage of your VO2 max you will be racing at. As a general guideline Kara was using the percentages below for different distances.

Marathon = 70 - 85% max VO2
Half-Marathon = 85-89% max VO2
5K = 90+% max VO2

Here is my calculation for my half marathon "potential".

Assuming 85% of my VO2 max = 55.93

55.93= 0.2(speed)+3.5
262.15 = speed in meters/min
262.15/26.8 = 9.8MPH
Distance / speed / 24 = time
13.1 / 9.8 / 24 = 1:20:21 at a 6:08 pace.

I have a spreadsheet that I have put together if you are interesting in seeing it. I think the numbers are acurate from a formula perspective. So leading up to my half marathon in Baltimore that number will be in the back of my mind. My coach and I have done some speed work leading up to this race. I have the base from ironman training but the speed is only halfway there. We will also see how well I rest during taper and what race day conditions will be like.

My plan is to wear my HR watch and take splits but not look at it during the race. Race how I feel. Coach has sent me a race plan that I will take under advisement. I guess we will see what happens. If you want to place your guestimates in the comment section or a sealed e-mail to be delivered on 10/14. My best time so far at the half has been 1:31 in crappy conditions. I'd like to go sub 1:30 and possibly be near 1:25. These numbers are a confidence boost to say the least.

The Baltimore Running Festival will have live tracking during the race and TV coverage during the Saturday morning Today Show. I'm mainly looking to have a good time and enjoy being with Aimee all weekend.

It will be time to get my Game On. Booyah.


qcmier said...

Dude, you are a freaking machine.

Sorry I couldn't get out there for some speed work with you. You are going to kick some B'more tail this weekend.

Jodi said...

That video looks painful. It's bad enough to do a HR test on the treadmill... When someone is coming by and poking you with a needle that just makes it crazy!


nancytoby said...

I like how you discard the results you don't like. I would do the same thing!

Hope to see you in Baltimore somewhere! If I don't see you at the expo, I'll be hanging around the back of the assembled runners at the start of both the marathon and the half. GOOD LUCK!!

TriSaraTops said...

Sersly, dude. You are a machine.

Kick some ASS in B-more this weekend! Looking forward to the report! I have a number in my head for you.....sending you good number vibes...:)

Papa Louie said...

You look like you were having fun running with a see through darth vader mask on.
Very impressive numbers!!
You should have no problems breaking 1:30. More like 1:25. Have a great race in Baltimore.

Rob Gibb said...

Squeal like a guinea pig!

And love the bike porn.

Bolder said...