Monthly Archives: March 2013

Body Composition/Fitness test results

I went to the Appalachian State North Carolina Human Performance lab this morning to have several studies done and participate in their research.  The first test they performed was the body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) test in a bod pod.  This is a really simple and straightforward test.  After a few simple calibrations, I got in and they ran two tests that were about 45 seconds each.  All I had to do was sit there.  Like I said, pretty easy.

The next test they performed was the leg and lower back strength test.  It’s basically just an all out force measurement.  Again, a pretty simple test.  This testing thing is fun.

However, I quickly learned just how tough it could be. Read the rest of this entry


Pretty cool bike ride

I’ve seen a lot of this type of stuff before (doesn’t make it any less impressive), but watching him ride that fence and across the bridge support was a new one on me.

Full Physical Test workup

Just recently, I found a local university doing physical fitness tests and needing people to do several tests.  It’s not free, but the cost is significantly lower than going to a lab to have all these things done.  I called them up and I got on the list.  This Friday I’ll have my body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) measured via bod pod, have a treadmill VO2 max test, an anaerobic power test, as well as a lactic threshold test done on a bike.  I’ve not had any of these tests done before, so I’m excited to see their results as well as to see how well my tests have estimated my true thresholds.  I’ll post the results here once I get them.

Base 3 Test Results

I finished my base 3 testing today with my run.  Needless to say it was a sufferfest.  So much so that I didn’t actually finish the run unfortunately.  My swim test turned up to not show too much change from base 2.  My bike test showed pretty strong improvement. I missed the base 2 test, but my base 1 test was 21mph at a heart rate of 164.  My base 3 test this weekend turned out at 23.8mph at 164, so a pretty dramatic improvement at the same effort level.

For the run, I made large improvements going from base 1 to base 2 and I had hoped to continue that improvement.  Base 1 was 7:01/mi at a heart rate of 172.  Base 2 was 6:12/mi at 177.  Base 3 today didn’t go to the full length, but the result was 6:00.9/mi at 170.  Since I cut off the last 2 miles of the test, I didn’t allow for the average heart rate to rise as the first mile is typically a bit low.  So, in order to compare today’s workout to the previous, I had to do a little more work.  When I overlay the heart rate on the Y axis to the distance on the X axis as you see below, I can see that my heart rate was about the same (if not a little lower) in base 3 than in base 2.  With my pace being quite a bit higher, I’d say that shows an improvement in efficiency.  I had hoped to run 4 sub 6 minute miles today, but that just wasn’t in the cards.  I did run two very consistent miles though.  My garmin shows the first mile at 6:00.91 and the second at 6:00.89.  Can’t get much better than that!

Base Comparison


All in all, I’m happy with the results so far.  Maybe by the end of my build phase I’ll be running sub 6 miles consistently.  My end goal is to be able to break the 19 minute barrier on a 5k.  Just 2 years ago, I broke 20 for the first time after a lot of work.  This year, the times are dropping nicely and I hope to continue that trend through the build phase.  I actually almost broke the 20 minute barrier in a triathlon 5k in my last race.  If it weren’t for a bit of cramping coming off the bike, I’m convinced I would have broken it pretty easily.


Ideal racing weight

I was watching IM Melbourne online just now and I remembered a picture of Craig Alexander and how small he looked compared to everyone else in the picture.  So, I did a quick search on him and came across an interesting (albeit unscientific) study of elite triathletes and their height to weight ratio.  For what it’s worth, it appears Craig Alexander is 5’11” and 150lbs. His weight to height ratio (lbs/inch) is 2.11.  Of the 10 or so pros that this article covers, the average is 2.25 lbs/inch and the numbers are surprisingly

Read the rest of this entry

Busy time of year

It’s been a busy few weeks learning my new area.  I’ve joined a Masters group already and I think we’ve finally found a house which will free up some of my time.  I still haven’t figured out the bike routes around the area very well.  I’ve been out riding, but Read the rest of this entry

Swimming efficiently?

Last season I was doing my 3rd or 4th test of the year and I tried to raise my turnover rate to see what it felt like. I found that my rate of perceived exertion was the same and my pace was significantly faster. After all, there are two ways to swim faster if you don’t change your hydrodynamics. Those two things are higher turnover or longer stroke. I had found that shortening my stroke a bit and turning over faster made me faster overall.

While I was in less pain, none of my swim coaches liked it. They all want me to swim longer and taller (which I agree is what I need to do to speed up from here Bc there is a max rate at which I can turn over efficiently).

New research from Alan Couzens seems to support what I found out from my own experience. It will be interesting to follow his research and see where it goes. To date, all is have is this tweet, but I thought it was interesting enough to share.

Azalea Triathlon Race Report

The race was a success 🙂  I broke 50 minutes as I had hoped, but only by the slightest of margins.  My time was 49:59.  haha.

AG winners

The quick synopsis is I swam 4:09 (goal of 4:00), biked at 22:43 (goal of 22:45), and ran a 20:05 (goal of 20:00), so although I missed two of the three, it was only by the slightest of margins, so I’m very pleased with the result. Now for the rest of the story… Read the rest of this entry

First Race of the Year

Now that I’m finally semi-settled in (not really… I haven’t had a spare second to breathe since I’ve been here, but I can’t let that stop me), I’ve finally found a race to try in my new state.  Setup events runs several big race series all along the coastal states (and maybe even a few others?).  But, I believe their first race of the year for the series is the Azalea Triathlon at UNC-Wilmington.  I’m going over there tonight to stay at my sister’s house and then I’ll do the race the next morning.

It’s a short event (300y, 10mi, 5k respectively) and the weather looks to be good enough to race, so I’m excited for it.  The swim is a pretty controlled event assuming you don’t run into too much congestion, so I’m pretty sure I can guess within a few seconds what my time will be there.  The run is a flat 5k and I’m pretty sure I can give a good guess  on that one.  The wild card for me will be the bike.  I have done pretty much zero hard bike workouts so far this year and I’ve really done very little riding outside.  Going through my records, I have 42 bike rides this season so far.  Of those, 30 of them were on the trainer.  I’ve pretty much been a wimp this year when it’s come to cold weather 🙂

I know there will be some good competition there and it’s a really large race.  They cap the registration at 800 and last I looked, there were less than 100 spots open.  I’m still hoping for a top 10 finish and a good showing in my age group.  My race plan is to push the swim around 80-90% and then push the bike and run as hard as I feel I can sustain.  I don’t really have a heart rate cap on this one like I typically do b/c I’m expecting it to be a very short race.  I’m hoping to finish in under 50 minutes.  My time goals are 4:00 swim, 22:45 on the bike, and 20:00 on the run.  Add in the transitions and I’ll be 20-30 seconds under 50 minutes.

With the way my runs have been going lately, I’m hoping that 20 minute goal holds up.  I’d really like to break 20 minutes, but I’m not going to be greedy.  My best 5k time in a tri is about 20:30 or so, but I’ve had quite a breakthrough lately in running, so I should be able to improve upon that quite a bit.  We’ll see.  I’ll post an update after the race.