Test results!

A little over two weeks ago, I went to get a sports examination at ConTest in Amsterdam. I’ve been measured, observed and tortured (okay it wasn’t thát bad) and the results came in right after the weekend. What would they say?

For this test, the physician checked out my lungs, heart and blood pressure
before hooking me up to the ECG stickers and wires. It was all good, my blood pressure is a little low, but not an issue per se. I also had some questions prepared, one of which about my heart rate in rest. When I sit on the couch watching tv, it often drops below 40 and my watch keeps telling me that I should get this checked. This was my chance to ask all about it! Luckily she informed me it’s nothing to worry about, it is not uncommon for people who enjoy endurance sports.

Alright then! Time to take the test. I informed the physiologist that worked
with the physician about my PR’s on 10k, 15k and half marathons and he asked me about my interval paces. Immediately he pointed out that my interval paces are a lot faster than my PB’s, and that I should be able to get better times. Well, that sounds good!

We started with a warming up of 10 minutes and then started the first step.
Every three minutes the pace would go up with 1k/h, while he squeezed and
pinched my earlobe to draw some blood for the lactate level test. I completed five steps and then I was done.

The test showed that my VO2 max and base level fitness is good, above
average for regular people like myself. Yay! In addition to that, there were no abnormalities seen on the ECG, so no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to perform sports actively.

The most interesting finding was the development of my lactate levels in
combination with my breathing frequency. The lactate levels stay relatively low for a long time, which means I should be able to run a fast 10k without too much effort. The physiologist told me I should be able to run a marathon in an average pace of 11.5 km/h. Right now, my PB on a half marathon is ran on 10.5 km/h. So… uhm… what?!

Apparently, my breathing frequency is abnormally high and inefficient from the start of the training/testing. This is causing every activity to feel hard almost right away. And it does, I always feel like sports is really hard, but it’s supposed to be like that – right? Well, apparently, I can do better and it should feel less hard :D. Now that sounds good to me.

In December, I will start training daily with a breathalyser to train my
breathing frequency and efficiency under (partially digitally) guidance of a
physician. After five weeks, I should already see the most improvements and after that, I can keep it up by myself. I’m so curious how it will work out! The physiologist was very certain this would help me get my performance to the next level, and I am more that happy to give it a try!

In the mean time, I ran a new PB on the 10k, trying to keep in mind that my
lactate levels stay low for a long time. It worked – but I’m nowhere near the
predicted 43 minutes that should be doable. So who knows… maybe in the future I’ll be so fast I don’t have time to realise running can be hard…

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