LTHR & VO2max test (plus body scan!)

Date: 3/25/22
Training Day: 110
Miles: 2-ish miles? (LTHR & VO2max test, treadmill)
Time: 30-ish minutes?
Shoes: Xero HFS

How It Felt: By the end of the test I felt like I was going to die! Definitely the hardest I have ever ran in my entire life.

Commentary: My experience at the Boise State University Human Performance Lab was awesome! I think this is primarily because Taylor, the guy in charge of the lab who ran the tests, is a great dude.

Even though I didn’t sign up for or pay for a VO2max test, he asked if I wanted to do one anyone. He said it wouldn’t be as accurate since we were doing it at the same time as the lactate threshold test, but it would be close. I decided to go for it. I meant to get a picture of me wearing this ridiculous head gear that holds the mouthpiece in place for the VO2max test, but I forgot.

Before the test we chatted a bit and decided my max speed would be 5 mph, and once we reached that he would up the incline to increase intensity. I just want to throw it out there – that Woodway treadmill was nice. If I ever win the lottery, that’s the treadmill I’m buying. He also took a blood lactate measurement before we started the test, and mine was high.

He said every once in a while someone comes in with a high resting lactate level, and he has no idea why it happens. After some easy walking it went down to normal, so we proceeded with the test. In the table above you can see how my speed and intensity progressed, along with my lactate levels and VO2max. My VO2max isn’t super impressive, but I’m not worried about it.

A fancy graph of my results, along with the heart rate zones Taylor recommended I train in.

After I caught my breath, cooled down, and got some water, we talked about my results. At the end I was a wee confused because he said that what calls the aerobic threshold is what another in his department calls the lactate threshold. By the end I was sure if the 155 bpm LT was my lactate threshold or the 173 bpm OBLA (onset of blood lactate accumulation).

I did start reading the 80/20 running book, and supposedly the lactate threshold is when levels get above 4 mmol/L, which is at an RPE of about 6. And the Matt Fitzgerald mentioned that even after a test your lactate threshold is approximate because it can vary from day to day. Looking at my data, I decided to use 167 bpm as my lactate threshold. My level was almost 4 mmol/L, and my RPE was 6. At the next stage I was well over 4 mmol/L, so my lactate threshold was probably less than 170 bpm. The Matt also said your lactate threshold doesn’t have to be precise to determine appropriate training zones, so I feel good about my decision.

While at the lab I also decided to do a body composition scan. I’ve always been curious as to how fat, I mean how much fat I actually have on my body. I got a DEXA scan, which uses radiation to not only determine your body comp, but also your bone density. Bonus!

Although the results say my body fat percentage is 28.3%, if you do the math it’s 27.2%. Not a big deal, I know, but the lower percentage point makes me feel better. I have yet to lose weight from my foodscapades, so I expected the number to be more in the middle of the normal range for a woman my age (21-33%).

The other little data nugget I got from the scan was my RMR (resting metabolic rate). It’s a paltry 1,281 calories a day! No wonder I gain weight so easily! And no wonder I haven’t lost the foodscapade weight yet! Sure, I exercise a lot, which burns calories, but I definitely eat enough to make up for it.

My bone density is good, which makes me pretty happy. And all in all, I’m quite happy with my test and the data obtained from them. About 3-4 weeks before my 55k I plan to go back and get the same tests done again, just to see how I’ve improved.

Training Journal

Christina View All →

Endlessly seeking adventure.

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