VO2 Max Testing Mishap

first spirometry test

So I decided to participate in a research study on shunting in asthmatic athletes, and I started the initial testing a few days ago. It all starts out with a spirometry test, where you take the deepest breath you can, and blow it out as hard and fast as you can through a little plastic mouth-piece.

6mins of hyperventilating

Then you do a simulated effort by breathing a mixture of carbon dioxide and air, breathing in and out as fast as you can, for 6 minutes. The carbon dioxide keeps you from passing out (pretty much like hyperventilating, actually much harder than it sounds!)

second spirometry

Then the spirometry test is done again, to see if the results have changed (ie, to see if the athlete has exercise induced asthma.)

Warming up on the Velotron

Then, I was whisked away (well, actually walked 10min to another building) and did a VO2 Max test. It was my first test, and I was looking forward to finding out the results!  But there was a problem.

getting sweaty near the end of the test!

As I was nearing the end of the test, I was working so hard that I jerked my head to the side a little too hard, and ripped the front of the face piece right off! It was disappointing, but for the purposes of the study, I passed (VO2 Max was 63.2 @390watts when the mask fell off, they needed athletes with a VO2 Max of 60 or higher.) They’ve invited me to go back and try again (hopefully no more mishaps!)

It was a beautiful day outside, so I went and did my first ever run in the UBC Pacific Spirit Park, and it was AWESOME!! 2 hours of trails (longer than it was supposed to be as I got lost a few times,) and on a sunny beautiful day to boot. I’ve been starting to ramp up the volume the last few weeks, soon it’ll be time to do some speed work to get ready for the UBC Duathlon (first multisport race of the year!) Sounds like a bit of a cold weather front is moving in, hopefully we can get some decent weather for race day.

Enjoy the weather everyone!

2011 Revised Open Water Swim Training

The summer of 2010 saw me doing a LOT of open water swimming. I’d say that probably 3-4 of my 4-5 swims a week were open water, which is GREAT for getting accustomed to open water swimming, but not good if you’re doing it wrong. I spent too many meters in the lake just cruising, and NOT pushing myself hard like I would if I was in the pool. Plus, not enough pool swimming meant I wasn’t focusing on my proper form, and basically I was loosing speed. Not training at race pace or faster translated to some VERY poor performances in the later summer races. I had great swims early season, but it was a steady downhill decline after that.

This year will be different.

After much consultation with my newly appointed open water swim partner (the master of open water, Rod Craig, who has managed some amazing open water feats, such as crossing the English Channel!!) we will be revamping this years open water swim practices. Much more interval work, more group training, and the most important thing, RACE PREP! Just like running and cycling intervals, track work, and tempo training, you need to do race simulation for swimming as well. This video shows the 2011 training strategy we will be using. It will be hard work, but I know it’ll pay off.