So, back in February, I upped my tri game with some REAL knowledge. Yes, I got my lactate thresholds tested! (I mentioned this in passing... at some point.) This has proven to be a serious game changer. My run is faster, and I'm able to push harder with the knowledge of what my thresholds are. For example, when I get up to 190 on my run, people used to say "Isn't your heart going to explode?" No, silly! I'm just at the top of my Steady State Threshold! I haven't even hit VO2 Max, son! Turns out I just have the heartrate of a baby mouse. Disappointing, since I'd always hoped my epic cardio would slow that shit down or something. (When I put my head on my cyclist man's chest, it sounds like his heart is forgetting to pump it's so slow... like 40 bpm. I'm still in the high 50s. But then again, he's trying to be pro... and I'm trying to be a comedienne or whatever. What's the normal resting heart rate for a comedienne? I'm sure I've got them all beat.)
Here are my fancy looking results from February:
I got tested with Will, and we discovered that my power to weight ratio is higher than his. Now I will never let him live it down. Bwahahahaha. Of course, it also makes me want to lose some more of that unhelpful body fat so I can have an even MORE amazing ratio... but you can only lose so much weight before you lose power, so it's a delicate balance. I did get down to 143 during the internet video madness, but there wasn't much fitness there, just lots of forgetting to eat and no sleep. So my power probably suffered. Currently I'm back where I was, trying to lose, but doing pretty well getting the power back. Plus I'm scheduled to hit some serious hill climbs pre-AZ in fall racing, so... that's gonna be some shit.
By now, this data has probably changed (at least it ought to have...) I am well overdue for a retest, and with the big race coming up, I need to make sure I know what my Zone 2 is for reals so I can burn my fat for fuel on the long haul of the Ironman. And for the Zombie Apocalypse. Won't have time to eat dinner when we need to start the 200 mile escape into the mountains.
Yes, this blog started more budgety, but this test, second only to a bike upgrade, is the most bang for its buck in terms of improved performance. I mean, for goodness sake, I finished 17th at Wildflower after being a solid upper midpacker all the rest of this time. And the 10k I did on July 4th I got 11th place out of 82 women in my group, so, word, I'm getting faster. (I also was dehydrated and under-rested for that one... damn you, new job where beer drinking is unavoidable!)
Were I to be a true budget seeker, I'd redo my thresholds on my own. Apparently if you do thirty minutes of full effort (bike and run alike), you can find your thresholds by taking the average heart rate of the last twenty minutes (first 10 is getting used to it, I guess) and then mathing out the zones with your resting heart rate, which you find by strapping on your monitor in the A.M. and hitting the snooze button, then checking when you're back to minimal movement and stuff. But dude, that's too much math. And max effort by yourself... are you ever going to REALLY max it out? Paying a dude over $100 towatch you max out seems like a better guarantee. Plus, it's like a concentrated coach that you can "just add water" to for the next few months and basically have your workouts planned. Since LT testing comes with workouts, it's like cramming all the info goodness of a real coach into two informative pieces of paper: the data is you-specific, unlike training manuals, so you know precisely what to do, and it gives you three workouts per week to guarantee improvement (seriously, GUARANTEED, if you do them, of course.) And, as previously stated, who gives an eff about the swim? Just get in the pool n do shit.
So yes, for the budget triathlete who's been in the game for a few years, but still can't afford a coach, go fake coach and get your LT zones tested. The info is super worth it.