Fat for Fuel

November 1, 2009

I learned a lot about making my workouts more efficient last weekend. This new wisdom came courtesy of a Metabolic test done at Lifetime Fitness in Tempe, Arizona. What is a Metabolic test? It’s measures how your body (uniquely) responds to exercise. Evidently, your metabolism is uniquely yours. Want to burn more fat during your workouts? The key is finding your metabolic base.

My test began with facilitator Amy hooking me up with a heart rate monitor, strapping a VO2 mask on my face, and putting me on a treadmill. With heart rate monitor and VO2 mask hooked up to a laptop running software created by New Leaf, the test began.I started with a walking warm-up. The speed increased to a good jogging pace. At that point the software began to crunch the numbers; the input being presented via the VO2 mask and the heart rate monitor.

Then the fun began. Once my comfortable speed was reached, the incline was increased by 2%. This repeated again and again until my incline reached 10%. At the end of the test I was running for my life up a steep hill and sucking wind. Turns out that’s the point. Simple as that. The data captured showed me my personal metabolic zones and the distribution of fat to carbs I burn in each zone.

I will use this information during my workouts, monitoring my heart rate to keep my body operating in the zone at which it burns the most calories while still using fat for fuel.

In conclusion, I was happy with my results. Turns out my baseline is 163 BPM. That’s a bit higher than I usually work out at so I have some room to make my workouts more intense. Also, and I’ll admit up front that I’m bragging a little, I learned my estimated maximum heart beats per minute is 200. The average is 180. Bottom line, I can’t wait to see the results during the next twelve weeks armed with this intel.

Rediscovered Love for Sport

December 4, 2008

Over the last year I have rediscovered my love for sporting competition. I have a specific interest in the area of endurance sports. It all began the first part of 2008 thanks mainly to my doctor. I awoke to the realization that I was in fact in terrible physical shape. Having made up my mind to do something, I began running a mile or two during my lunch hour. Later, I began doing a little bicycling with my wife on the weekends (thanks primarily to Mike, Joanie and family at Newbury Park Bicycle Shop in Newbury Park, California). Add to that my captivation by Michael Phelps in this summer’s Olympics. I became determined to learn to swim, and bingo, triathlon!

I just recently finished my second “sprint” triathlon. I know that the word “triathlon” typically evokes images of the Ironman. However, for the uninitiated, the Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. That is not where most people start. All of us starts off with much shorter distances. The “sprint” distance, for example, is more reasonably sane consisting of a ¼ mile swim, 10+ mile bike ride, and approx 3 mile run.

So, in the coming days I would like to share some of my experiences both in training and in competition as well as some of the essential gear. After all, for guys it is all about the gear.