It is Saturday afternoon, the day before the NYC marathon. I am sitting on my bed with my legs propped up. My stomach is filled with pancakes from the Front Runners breakfast. We ran the final 2 miles of the marathon to get our legs stretched out and to confirm that they are still working. In these final hours of sitting, drinking water, and eating I can finally catch up on blog posts, emailing, and my exercise phys term paper.
So the cool thing I did this week was participate in a study at Long Island University where as I have told you I am a professor and a grad. student. I was tenured a couple years ago and I am taking advance of tuition remission to get a MS in Exercise Physiology.
I am giving you an overview of the study because while I hate to admit it, the dog ate my notes. It is not an excuse, he really did eat the paper. UPDATE: The study is on a device called an “Actical.” Actical Physical Activity Monitor (supposedly) provide an objective, quantifiable measure of Physical Activity and Energy (Caloric) Expenditure The study at the LIU Exercise Science Lab test the validity of these tiny square chips that are secured to your waist and measure your metabolic output. Think of a super fancy pedometer that measures all your activities from watching TV to climbing a mountain. I got to the lab and met Sarah and Mike who would be conduction the test. They recorded my height and weight the proceed to strap on all the measuring devices. First a standard heart rate monitor, the ones the many athletes use for training, around my chest, followed by a tiny two wire device hooked up to electrodes to my left chest above my heart over my aorta, another heart rate device. Then the cool thing, the portable VO2max portable mask called a COSMed Ky B2. This thing is really cool, it contains a GPS so that if I changed my mind and decided to run away with this piece of equipment they could track me and get it back. Actually the GPS would allow the researcher to send a participant outside to the track to run freely while measuring their exhaled gases.
Once I was hooked up and tested, the test began with 8 minutes of rest, sitting in a chair doing nothing. I look a bit miserable in this photo, okay I was kind of uncomfortable; I have a very hard time sitting still, especially when I have constricting straps all over. I have a real adversity to anything tight or restrictive and sitting still was not easy.
It was the longest 8 minutes of the test. Then 8 minutes of playing cards. I could hear Sarah and Mike talking about the machine that it was perhaps not working correctly or that air was leaking from my mask. It was definitely not leaking, that thing would certainly leave a giant hicky on my face. I was just far more comfortable moving around.
Then I swept for 8 minutes, lifted very light weights to the beat of a metronome for 8 minutes and finally the tread mill, ahhhh I can relax, and sure enough as the walking began my metabolic rates lowered, I think I may have been the only person that happened too because there was more whispering. After 8 minutes the incline was ramped up, followed by 8 minutes of flat very slow jogging and 8 minutes and very slow jogging at an incline. I was happy once I got to move my legs, I noticed my body was burning 90% fat and only 10% carbs, the sign of used up energy or in my case good economic running, that is my goal for the year – to become more economical. I am fit from my marathon training. I was very happy on the treadmill.
The walking, running and card playing were the most relaxing; the sitting was the hardest followed by the weights. The weights were very light but I had a bit of anxiety about keeping the rhyme of the metronome, so my metabolic changes had more to do I think with my brain, anxiety about keeping time. But overall it was a very positive experience and very interesting. I even got paid for it, and guess what? YOU TOO can too. If you are in the NYC area and want to try this out, they are testing on Thursday and Friday at LIU which is in Brooklyn one stop from Manhattan on the B or Q train. The head PI is Professor David Spierer, an Assistant Professor in the Sport Sci program and professor of the course I am taking. He is one of the best and most engaging people I have studied under. If you email me directly I will put you in contact with him to schedule your appointment. Now what is really cool, I talked to Mike about VO2max testing. I want to get mine tested, then adjust my training accordingly I plan to spend the next 5 months doing speed work twice a week at the indoor track of the New Balance Track and Field Armory in New York. I plan to lower my overall weekly mileage, incorporate heavier weight-training, cycling and swimming. I have a 2-year marathon time goal I am after! Happy Running.
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