5K run test: new 39 vDOT

I was reminded today of why most age group athlete’s don’t test their fitness level very often…if ever…it’s HARD…and SUFFERING

Here’s what pain looks like in a Heart Rate download chart…near the end you’ll notice the little notch above my previous highest Heart Rate 🙂

The very good news out of today is that my running test established a new 39 vDOT…okay…YEAH!

vDOT I’ve covered in earlier posts so won’t repeat it here…so have added links into this post for those looking for the detail…but enough to say that it’s a testing protocol and associated training Intensity level developed by Coach Jack Daniels…specifically for running…and the basis of training pace as used by many coaches, including the folks at Endurance Nation…and myself

…my last formal running test was January 6, 2011, that established a 37 vDOT level.  My goal prior to Ironman Florida is to get it to a 41 vDOT…so in 4 months, 2 points higher…with 6 months to go, another 2 points to go, …not a slam dunk by any stretch…but we like a challenge right 🙂

…hate to think that I’d need cut back joyful eating and drinking to lose that last 10 pounds to get there…

So here was the test.

I gave up on the local high school track based on my last attempt to do a running test there, so decided on the local college track…although the inside 4 lanes are restricted, so I ran in Lane 7…my usual lane for intervals, because it’s roughly 1.1 miles for 4 laps…actually 1.094 miles…rather than 1 mile in lane 1 for 4 laps…and therefore relatively easy to calculate the pacing adjustments for the longer distance.

enough minutia…here’s the results summary (4/4/2/1 laps):

#1: 151HR avg, 157HR max (7:48/mile)
#2: 160HR avg, 161HR max (7:53/mile)
#3: 161HR avg, 162HR max (7:55/mile)
last 400 meters: 161HR avg, 162HR max (7:57/mile)

so with the lane distance/last lap pace extrapolated forward for the extra meters to 5K, using the exact Lane 7 distances

  • =24:32, 7:54/mile, 39 vDOT (comfortably between 24:08 (40 vDOT) and 24:39 (39 vDOT))
  • entire test HR is 156HR, max 162 HR

Numbers aside, here are the testing notes from today:

  • only 2 days since my maximum FTP test on the bike, where I set a new high 270 FTP
  • so I had some concerns going into a running test only 2 days later, particularly since I was a bit stiff from travel over the past 2 days as well
  • although the bike test ended up a bit sub-maximal with tired legs, so I was actually feeling pretty good today
  • and always conscious of my downstream workouts coming up…like the long bike ride on Saturday, so didn’t want to hurt that by a maximal run test on Friday, since my quads are normally stiff for at least a couple of days
  • so hit it, running my 2 mantra’s through my head
  • and set off on the test…although after 1 fast lap, realized that my lap timer had not set when I clicked it to start…so now I had a HARD 400M, but didn’t know how long it took, so slowed to re-group…so that’s the first big ‘bump’ that you see in Heart Rate chart
  • and decided when I had jogged around to the start again, to just hit it hard again, and let it all hang out which I did
  • a bit too fast as it turns out…with a Heart Rate that rolled up quickly to 160HR and ended up as a 162HR max…which since I had a maximum Heart Rate of 158HR in the first test, tells me that I did indeed get all of it today
  • although I was definitely ‘leaking oil’…Coach Gale :)…and suffering in the last half…pace coming down slightly as I was hanging in with lungs hanging out of the front of my body
  • …I stopped looking at my lap times with 4 laps to go…it didn’t really matter…I was just trying to hold form and press as hard as I could
  • but complete it I did
  • and left thinking that my left hamstring wasn’t an issue, so I’m going to put that to bed as a non-factor in my training…still run on the flat track when I’m running fast, but not going to baby it anymore…glad to get rid of that piece of brain doubt…and hope that it doesn’t happen again, but if it does I think safe to say that it would be a _new_ injury instead of the old

…and was reminded that ‘tests’ are valuable, not only in confirming my fitness level, and giving me confidence in my training pace levels, but an all-out 20 minute+ run, is thinly disguised as one heck of a Z5+ workout in its own right…and actually probably enough reason to ‘test’ all on its own

sooo what does this mean?…aside from probably being a bit nuts 🙂 …is that like my bike test 2 days ago, it means that my Intensity goes up in running workouts…in this case the ‘pace’ that I run at…since I’ve now confirmed that I have a higher level of fitness than my last test…although I’ve _leaned_ workouts up towards the 39 vDOT levels since a month ago I had estimated that I was in the 38’ish -39 range…always nice to confirm it though…and my 41 vDOT goal set on December 7, 2010 is now within striking range 🙂

…and so we train on…now just a notch higher…cool!

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