V02 Max Challenge

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mountainFrugal
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by mountainFrugal »

ebast wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:57 pm
Surprising me as much as anybody, it meant I got in with a total time of BQ+1min.
Damn! Nice job. I excitedly stand corrected. :). You will hit it next time!

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C40
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by C40 »

Update:
- My training is going well. I improved more than expected the last 2 months. I'll share some power numbers again but they're a bit delayed because 1 - I got a powermeter but it gives an inaccurate (but fairly precise) reading. So I've been figuring that out over the last two months... and 2 - I'm in a different location for some months so I don't test on the same hills as before.

- - - -

The new thing is that I became interested in doing a solo century ride in under 4 hours (100 miles / 160km) - thus averaging over 25mph. I'll let you guys know how it goes. My fitness is good enough. It just comes down to doing it. When I say 4 hours I mean riding time - not counting time stopped and also not counting when I slow/stop for a couple intersections. It's quite difficult to do this but I think I can. I'll update...
Last edited by C40 on Sun Dec 03, 2023 7:22 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Ego
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by Ego »

C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:38 am
Update:
- My training is going well.
Retirement has improved your already high capacity to produce understatement. Nice work.

ebast
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by ebast »

@mF much thanks - although now I'm already starting to think maybe what I really want to do is a 50km...

@shaz brings up a point and here is a Public Service Announcement that I would not recommend biking to endurance events, at least if you care primarily about your time. You will run faster than I did. I mean, you could assistant coach the local high school cross country team for one season and have more datapoints than I'll ever have, so this is entirely based on what I've heard or read, but my received wisdom here is that you should move as little as possible, even in the three or so days leading up to an event and certainly the morning of consume as little glycogen as possible and with these endurance distances use the first miles of the race to warm up.

I will say though that there is something I especially like about biking at o'dark:00 (when they schedule these races) and I have noticed it does do something for me in terms of calming pre-race jitters. I've been fortunate enough to be close enough to bike, walk, and maybe a bus partway once-don't remember, to my races [the harder I lifestyle-design, the luckier I get] and so really the reason behind my decision was some stubborn insistence to plant a flag that, ERE 1.0 style (I mean 1.0 as in before we all bought cars), you can lead a good life without a car. Although I acknowledge waking up at 6am to run 26 miles is not obviously a component of a good life and would want to be careful not to give the idea that early retirement is so uneventful, even a forced march might sound fun.

@Scott 2, I am precautionarily concerned with foot health and my early hopes that at least half my running would be on trail or off-asphalt anyway didn't really materialize (maybe 20%, largely due to my focus on pacing and running while dark) and while Xero shoes should probably buy banner ads on this thread, 'serious' runners look at my shoes and make comments (e.g. "minimalist? that's so like 10 years ago" which it is) like I'm showing up at the track meet in Onitsuka Tigers or something, and my reading of PubMed (where there has been a recent spate of work on minimalist shoes especially versus super shoes) is tepid at best. I wouldn't change anything in the middle of a season, but now would like to experiment with mixing in shoes with more cushioning to address the excessive road running, zero drop to differ biomechanically as little as possible from my minimalist preference, and a wide toe box to accomodate hobbit feet. I am thankful technically and maybe sensually, for the roadfeel of minimalist shoes, especially running in the dark, and regret losing that.

As to running faster, I hesitate with the super shoes. I don't know why I find it so impossible to just talk about running when we talk about running, but just to briefly bring up Epictetus and analogize from the Enchiridion: if I have a fast horse, should I be proud or should the horse? Am I fast, or are the Nike designers? What's your frame of reference for your time? For instance, say I go over to the United Airlines Rhapsody in Blue tunnel at O'Hare and start doing laps on the moving walkway between terminals B & C and granted chances are that I will probably be promptly tackled by TSA although have you seen those guys? Promptly? A little concourse-parkour and I think I could get a 5 or 10km out before they caught me, but supposing I made it 26 miles with a team of undermotivated overweighted government employees chasing after me, who let's recall are in fact armed so unless your rules of engagement-parkour is very strong I strongly recommend this even less than biking to a race start, and suppose I break 3 hours, did I just run a 2:50:00 marathon or did I run a 3:20:00 on a moving walkway?

I get that the demarcation between tool (objectified techne) and body can be fuzzier than we like to think (no actually that's just what you type on a keyboard: a tool is what you throw across the garage and your body is what meanwhile drips blood on the floor).

So maybe I get that technology improvements are part of the game and even I wouldn't show up at a local Century ride with a 50-year old Peugeot (when it comes to cycling, the centaur is out of the barn on that one) but something I thought I liked about running is that it's not about the shoes. But if you get 5-10 minutes, it kinda is, right? Table stakes. And if I'm trying to come in at a certain percentile of racers, that threshold is going to shift as more people start using them, and here is the downside of being an amateur athlete versus a professional one where we're all hemming and hawing whether to keep wearing shoes from 10 years ago and meanwhile a professional's decision tree looks like: "Does it make me faster? If yes, use." whereas I'm off reading the Enchiridion when I should be training.

so this has actually been helpful to me to think through as I think where I am coming out on this one anyway is to remember my motivation which is fitness, primarily aerobic, (the BQ is just a metric) and also that I am trying to build a satisficing habit of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, not acquire a maximized achievement of doing it in my best possible time(in which case it would be appropriate to "throw everything and the kitchen sink at it", or "consume your seedcorn").

And so I will rank my potential enhancements by their contribution to overall fitness and health and take the first few. Meaning this coming year, I can benefit from still building my aerobic base (I am just coming up on 2 years in), bumping up my training paces 10-15s, and steeper hill sprints. If all that doesn't work and I am an eternal +1, I can consider adding more miles, proper nutrition/fueling, finding a downhill course, being carried to the race like some Raj of India, and finally: wearing super shoes. I would've said and finally: "cheat", but is it worth cheating, an amateur race where even if I did barely qualify for Boston I don't think I'd even go. Why go all that way to show up at a race I'm virtually guaranteed to be last?

The "eternal +1". It wouldn't be the worst epitaph:
Here lies ebast
+1.
Last edited by ebast on Sat Dec 02, 2023 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shaz
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by shaz »

Some other things you could add to your list ahead of fancy shoes are proper rest/recovery, program design (periodization), and strength training.

ebast
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by ebast »

thank you @shaz, as your list includes what I know I should be doing but conveniently overlook.

I was hoping to get away with using hill sprints exclusively for strength training since they are fun but I have no excuse not to also start proper strength-training exercises this year. fine. I might use Uphill Athlete's set here.

for periodization, (including this for reproducibility/avoidability) am not sure what the current best practice is these days, but this year I based off an old Brad Hudson plan where I had nonlinear 20-week training period broken into:
  • intro [6 wks] (primarily increasing volume from my base 25mi/wk up to ~40mi/wk, lots of hill sprints, long runs up to 17mi easy. I start from a low base so safely increasing (<=+10%/wk volume) lengthens this phase (~6 weeks) maybe a bit much. I think serious athletes would maintain a higher base.
  • fundamental [10 wks] increasing intensity (e.g. replacing easy/moderate pace with more half-marathon pace for medium runs), extending endurance in long runs up to ~22 mi. easy, weekly volume creeps up toward 50mi/week
  • sharpening [4wks] race-specific meaning lots&lots of marathon pace, longer runs mix of endurance (23mi easy) and specificity: e.g. 15-18mi runs at MP+[0:10-0:20]. Two week taper.
I have recovery weeks every 3 or 4 weeks at least according to my charting but that's on volume and I'm not positive I've dialed the intensity back.

then I have off-season 32 weeks of 20-25 mi/week base: 1 hill sprints a week, 1 intervals/fartleks, and a short long run (10-13mi) unpaced. would like to make this longer runs because then I can actually go places. slowly.

Scott 2
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by Scott 2 »

ebast wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 8:00 am
even if I did barely qualify for Boston I don't think I'd even go. Why go all that way to show up at a race I'm virtually guaranteed to be last?
Coming down from this year's physical peak, I find myself reflecting. It's the experiences, rather than the scores, that are highlights. Surviving a trail 10k in 14 degree weather, with a hernia. Setting a PR at the animal shelter 5k, with my wife's support. Seeing an 8 mile forest preserve loop for the first time, on foot. Experiencing my furthest physical limit, on the hardest runs.

Finally breaking 50 on the rower v02 max test - that kinda sucked. While the score was gratifying, it felt miserable. I'm not even eager to make another attempt like that.

If I built the ability to do something like Boston, I'd give it a go. Not to compete, but to join the running party. I think I'd find it a cherished memory.

Scott 2
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by Scott 2 »

Follow-up with the podiatrist, it seems running is off the table, at least near term. I've learned:

1. I have an ~1" diameter fatty tumor in the bone of my right foot. It's big enough there's risk of a fracture. We're going to follow-up with more x-rays in 3 months. My bet is she'll recommend surgery then.

2. The bunion and associated arthritis on my left foot is bad enough, that she recommends surgery when I can. Ideally in the next few years. The implication being my right foot is on the same path.

3. She'd see me never run again, given my foot problems. At the very least, she thinks I ought to have orthotics and Hokas before trying.

4. She specifically said I should not even walk barefoot. That it will progress the bunions and aggravate the Achilles tendonitis. The heeled shoes I have aggravate my bunions, so compliance has not been great here. I need to shoe shop, which I absolutely hate to do.

5. Obtaining orthotics is slow, but very affordable with insurance. A pair per year, my portion of the co-insurance is likely under $100. Lead time between appointments and having them in hand is ~2 months. The orthotics company says wait to buy shoes, so you can fit them to the orthotics.

6. Since the Achilles tendonitis has not subsided, PT is now warranted. An 8 session order was submitted, with emphasis on Graston Technique. It looks painful. I can't say I'm eager to fit it into the immediate schedule, or pay for it. I'll probably drag my feet here.


I'm glad I went all in on this year's running peak. It felt like a fleeting and special time. It probably was.

My new program ramps cardio down to 2 hours per week, lower intensity on the elliptical and rower. Yoga increases to 2-3 classes per week. Lifting remains at 4x per week, with a renewed focus on heavy compound lifts. It'll be interesting to see what I maintain of the peak v02 max.

Fitting multiple foot surgeries is not high on my list of wants. Definitely looks like a pay now or pay more later type of situation. I'll probably delay anything until after jaw surgery, then schedule around the seasons.

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C40
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by C40 »

oooh man that sounds pretty rough. Wishing you a good recovery. The feet are so important. Don't be lazy to do what you need to take care of them, and man, don't rush into running

--

My brother was running a fair amount over recent years. I tried to convince him to shift to bicycling or swimming or something else before he messed up his legs. But he didn't and a tendon in his foot got damaged. He had surgery and it was not healing at the rate they expected/hoped.. But one day while his foot was still hurting a lot he told me he wanted to sign up for an upcoming run event. NOOOOOOO
Last edited by C40 on Fri Dec 08, 2023 8:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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C40
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by C40 »

So I completed the 160km (100 mile) 4 hour ride. Wheewwww. Did it in 3:54 (riding time) at an average speed of 41.0 kph (25.5 mph). Average power was about 220 watts which is 3.5 watts/kg.

Did it alone, on a normal road bike, on one road doing out/back loops. It was fun to do but I definitely won't want to do it again any time soon. The last 30km were tough, and overall it was quite draining.

I remember back in my mid twenties, when I had been bicycling for over 5 years and was thinking about starting to race. I was interested in the professional one hour road cycling records so I did a few one hour tests. At that time I rode around 21-23 mph. So, that younger me would be pretty happy about current me.

Scott 2
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by Scott 2 »

The fastest speed I've logged on my bike, going down hill, is a little over 26mph.

Averaging that for 4h straight??? Insane. Way to go.

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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by jacob »

C40 wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2023 5:00 am
So I completed the 160km (100 mile) 4 hour ride. Wheewwww. Did it in 3:54 (riding time) at an average speed of 41.0 kph (25.5 mph). Average power was about 220 watts which is 3.5 watts/kg.
Any idea what your functional threshold is in Troy Jacobson terms? (It's something like a 20 minute test right around the lactic point). Mine was 3.7W/kg about a decade ago (300W @ 81kg). No way I could have held that for hours though. Yours must be north of 4-5W/kg?

Also curious, what's your max sprint speed?

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C40
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by C40 »

jacob wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2023 9:21 am
Any idea what your functional threshold is in Troy Jacobson terms? (It's something like a 20 minute test right around the lactic point). Mine was 3.7W/kg about a decade ago (300W @ 81kg). No way I could have held that for hours though. Yours must be north of 4-5W/kg?

Also curious, what's your max sprint speed?
My FTP is now something like 285-290 (if actually doing for a full hour) or 300+ if testing like most people do. I'm 63kg, so yeah, the w/kg are in the range you guessed - maybe 4.7 or 4.8. The top dogs in pro bike racing can do around 7w/kg for 20-25min. But the absolute potentials of us normal people are (much) lower.

As for max sprint speed, I don't know as I don't ever try that. I guess I should be able to hit 60kph alone on a flat road. Since I don't race now, the sprint power is not a concern for me. When I do sprint, it's either while riding with a group and the exact speed doesn't matter, or doing sprint intervals which I prefer to do on a slight incline and I look at the power rather than speed. I'm not exactly sure what my sprint power is now because of issues with my powermeter. It would be somewhere between 850 and 1000w (that's instantaneous or just for a few seconds).
Last edited by C40 on Sat Dec 09, 2023 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by mountainFrugal »

C40 wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2023 5:00 am
Wheewwww. Did it in 3:54 (riding time) at an average speed of 41.0 kph (25.5 mph). Average power was about 220 watts which is 3.5 watts/kg.
DAMMMMN! Awesome @C40. That is one hell of an effort.

biaggio
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by biaggio »

C40 wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2023 5:00 am
So I completed the 160km (100 mile) 4 hour ride. Wheewwww. Did it in 3:54 (riding time) at an average speed of 41.0 kph (25.5 mph). Average power was about 220 watts which is 3.5 watts/kg.

Did it alone, on a normal road bike, on one road doing out/back loops. It was fun to do but I definitely won't want to do it again any time soon. The last 30km were tough, and overall it was quite draining.

I remember back in my mid twenties, when I had been bicycling for over 5 years and was thinking about starting to race. I was interested in the professional one hour road cycling records so I did a few one hour tests. At that time I rode around 21-23 mph. So, that younger me would be pretty happy about current me.
Woha, those are impressive numbers, congrats. :) I myself got into cycling this season but with my 85kg I only do 3.35W/kg at FTP. I hope to improve this the next season. I use biking to build base for skiing wihch is starting now. I think I could go down to 78 kg comfortably if I lost upper body muscle mass.

Do you have a fitted bike? At those distances one quickly gets injured even with small imbalances.

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C40
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by C40 »

biaggio wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2023 4:23 pm
Woha, those are impressive numbers, congrats. :)....

Do you have a fitted bike? At those distances one quickly gets injured even with small imbalances.
Thank you.

Yes my bike fits me well. I did have a session with a pro bike fitter when I was racing over 10 years ago. But the small changes he made are lost to me now. And I also lost my notes about the dimensions I was using such as reach and drop to the bars.. though I do have pictures of all my old bikes and I've used those for reference

I've ridden enough to know where I like things and to decide what adjustments to make. I do still have one or two small fit problems that I'd like to correct. But they are small details and I think I could ride any amount without them causing problems.

ebast
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Re: V02 Max Challenge

Post by ebast »

@Scott 2 : A lot of sympathy for the conclusions of your podiatrist follow-up. Transitioning from running to rowing/elliptical actually seems to have a number of advantages and particular appeals I'm just awakening to but I appreciate that forced choices are hardly cheery times. I find myself hoping here eventually your foot prognosis is good because I always appreciated seeing your updates, but especially with all the recent PRs, it couldn't be a nicer note to take a breather.

Meanwhile, I noticed my annual running mileage totals for 2023 stopped climbing and thought I'd post a year wrap-up ideally while it was still January.

2023 Review
Total dedicated miles: 1351 mi (26 mi/wk), consisting of
Off-season (32 wk): 537 mi (17 mi/wk)
Race season (20 wk): 814 mi (41 mi/wk)

This came in a little slimmer than modeled, almost entirely due to off-season leniency. While I generally try to make up missed workouts during the race season (easy to do with my 3-4 day/wk training versus a full say 6-day sched), I frequently drop days during off-season, not in the least because I have been averaging (thanks to my current grubby-fingered peer group) 3-5 weeks a year affected by cold/flu.

Background cycling: 1100 mi
Rough numbers here but I also have non-recreational background cycling activity (typically laden & high-drag) of about 1100 mi/yr, pretty evenly distributed. If time spent cycling = time spent running, that would add a 17mi kicker each week, but I discount that heavily when thinking about mi/wk.

I use Boston Qualification as an age-standardized hurdle (which I have not passed) and checking in with a blog on BQ survey results, I'm at the 33rd percentile of qualifying survey respondents based on my dedicated training miles of 1351. Occasionally I try to run fast, but the vast majority of these are easy miles, probably in the 8:20-9:00min/mi range so this works out to around 200 hr/year, and subjectively to be a pleasant & unremarkable hobby in the (3 hr) off-season and mildly interrupting, sometimes inconvenient and increasingly tiring compulsion when it scales up to 6-7hrs in race season. This is not even close to the time competitive athletes spend, so the next time somebody starts ascribing all athletic accomplishments to some genetic lottery, I'm asking them if they've ever tried mustering the tenacity to do the same mindless repetitive exercise 12 hours a week, all year long, cuz I think that's kinda a deal-breaker for a lot of us too.

I'm trying to maintain some equanimity in terms of right-sizing my training load and not instinctively grab for MOAR miles, especially given possibility of over-training/injury. That in mind, and not having met my hurdle, I am going to hold volume pretty much constant and shoot for the most effective training by eliminating junk miles (I mean who doesn't want to eliminate junk miles; identifying them is the problem), so more specifically being a bit more rigorous and observant about structured workouts in the off-season period as well as strength-training and increasing intensity during the training period.

2024 Goals: get off the road!
For 2024, I would like to do a bit more trail running, but thanks to inspiration from a number of the rowers on board here, and thinking about hedging a bit, I've decided to see if I can use my arms for something more than convenient GPS mountpoints and simple-carbohydrate delivery systems...

I've begun by introducing a mid-run swimming portion into one morning/week. The nearest pool is a comfortable 4km jog away, and these first times I've been working on developing the habit with small workouts (<1km) and more focused on figuring out logistics of combining it with running (swim gear is compact enough to be easily carried while running, but between all that and getting to work I feel like I have more wardrobe changes per mi than a Taylor Swift concert not to mention corresponding issues in dealing with what gets wet when, saved only by the meteorologic blessing that it's generally been raining on me, which at least it's not sleet or hail.)

I don't think there's much use to the forum in reporting on my personal swimming goals which are modest, specifically to, from a training perspective, up it to 2x a week of 1.5km if I can fit it in before I need to be back, and then from a Renaissance Skills perspective, I would like (as da Vinci was well-known for) to have a solid 100m Butterfly, or at least in that the lifeguard does not come over to ask if I am in distress and offer me a pull float before I even make it to the wall. I have been looking into how to structure my swim workouts given they occur in the midst of a running workout and also sizing & structuring it for aerobic impact so I will share what little I gather there as I figure things out and then also ERE-relevant issues of cost (not exactly cheap/min) and web-of-goals--as much as lapping back and forth in a puddly cement basin in the ground can co-impact anything else.

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