Monday, February 19, 2007

Cycling Study

Saturday, Marc and I drove up to Omaha to be subjects in Morgan's cycling study. It was not fun. Well, it was not fun being on the bike. It was fun seeing where Morgan spends her time and catching up with her doings.

In addition to heart rate, power, perceived exertion, and blood lactate levels, something about the oxygen you use or something was analyzed too. I couldn't handle the face mask tho. I started feeling panicky right around the 10 min mark and had to have them remove it. When they put it on, I wondered if I could hang with it and thought I could, but it would have taken a long slow 'close ur eyes' and deal with it kind of strategy. When you're working that hard on the bike, that strategy is impossible to implement -- at least for me, but Aaron kept on the mask. Wonder how he stood it? For me, I think the mask could have skewed the results because after it came off my blood lactate went down. Relaxed? Who knows? Hopefully Morgan will explain a few things to me once she sends the results.

Wednesday; February 21, 2007 - update ... I got the actual results and my blood lactate didn't really go down.


Marc said...

Those masks are hard to keep on. It forces you to only breathe thru your mouth. Goin anaerobic is hard enough for 30 mins. I wonder if there's a better way to measure expired gases? I've done two other oxygen consumption tests before but never this long. They were maximal tests where resistance is increased in a certain time frame. Usually last about 15 min. I agree that it could cause a subject to not work as hard.

Cornbread said...

Wow, that's an old metabolic cart. Reminds me of grad school.

Looks like y'all had a good time. Those tests are tough. Imagine doing one of those 12 times a year. I'm lucky enough to be one of the biological standards for our metabolic cart at NHI. Guess I shouldn't bitch cuz NHI was nice enough to allow me to purchase a new MedGraphics cart a few years ago. It's very nice. You can use a mask or a mouth piece. The mouth piece only allows you to only breath thru the mouth; mask allows both.

Not too many ways around the whole awkwardness of performing a VO2max test. What really sux is trying to get an 80 year old grandma to do one of these tests. That's what I do must of the time.

Marc, the only other way to do such a test without a mouth piece or face mask would be a bomb calorimeter chamber (like the ones used in basal metabolic studies). It's crazy expensive and hard to find (found in some large Universities and the military). But even that wouldn't be as accurate b/c you'd have to estimate volumes of gases. Knowing exactly how much air you moved in and out per breath is very valuable info.

There's definitely a learning curve in doing one of these tests. After a few times, it's not so bad. If anyone ever wants to do one, let me know.

So, let's hear your numbers...VO2max, VEmax, maxRER, blood lactate levels, max HR...come on! I'm a complete nerd and love this stuff!

sydney_b said...

cornbread, i'm gonna have to revise my image of u. didn't know u were such a nerd. ;)

Chris said...

I need to pay more attention because I thought Morgan was your hubby!

I want to get tested later in the summer. I wonder if I will be able to handle the mask when I am huffing and puffing.

marc said...


I'll take you up on that some time. I feel stupid bad for not going through with the mask and messing up one of Morgan's data points. I thought " dam, 30 mins of this isn't goin to work". I was suffering 5 mins into it and the mask was just suffucating me. Couldn't get a "normal" TT breath. When i did the tests before it was a VO2max test to exhaustion. A bit shorter. I scored 60 ml/min/kg on that one. Dam I'm pissed at myself for not going through with that. I know how important that result is.

Doesn't lactate start building at 4 mmols? I need to look that one up to correlate to my heart rate and watts.

What's your email, cory?

Chris said...

Syd- I finally realized that Morgan is the name of another bloggers hubby. Sorry for being dumb. :)

sydney_b said...

s'ok chris, no worries. :)

Cornbread said...

Yes, I am a nerd and proud of it. :)

Marc, shoot me an email at coreycycle@hotmail[dot]com

60 ml/kg/min is pretty darn good. It's a good reference point. Now you need to figure out your heart rate at your anaerobic threshold. That's the really valuable data point. To increase your AT, you need to train at or near your AT heartrate.

Lactate threshold usually occurs at little over 1. Four mM is well past the LT.