People complain they exercise their asses off and don’t lose weight. Or, they train their asses off and can’t shave time off their PR. Want answers? I do.
Today I’m channeling Eleanor Roosevelt who said (my favorite quote ever): “Do something ever day that scares you.”
Tomorrow I’m going to embark on something that could help make me a stronger, better, feistier athlete. But, it kind of intimidates me too.
I’ve been invited to have a consultation at the CU Sports Medicine Exercise Physiology and Human Performance Lab in Denver. I’ll be tested by Dr. Inigo San Millan, Director of the Exercise Physiology and Human Performance Lab at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Health & Wellness Center, and one of the top sport’s physiologists in the county. The 2.5 hour tests will include:
- maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max)
- lactate metabolism and threshold, heart rate
- energy substrate utilization and power.
I addition, I’ll be prescribe training zones based on lactate, heart rate and power output. Dr. San Millan will identify my strengths and/or weaknesses, predict my future performance (Olympics, pro, elite for sure), monitor and assess the effectiveness of different training programs (the “drink wine then run as far as you can” program will not be included), and assist in the detection of acute or chronic training-induced fatigue (I specialize in overuse injuries, so this is a good one for me).
This clip was on the news last week about Dr. San Millan and the lab. Seriously, take a moment to watch this to learn more about the science behind what our bodies do when we train:
While pro athletes come to the lab to learn more about how to be efficient in their training and racing, the lab is open to the public. Dr. San Millan encourages everyday athletes to be tested and states that they can improve performance up to 60%. Consults range from $100-$300.
I find all of this totally fascinating. Most of us jump into training and never really know the behind the scenes picture of what our bodies are really doing minute to minute. Something as basic as fueling more during training (like in the above video) could make all the difference.
As San Millan states,
“An average person can improve 40, 50, 60%. We open the doors to the community, so not just elite athletes like Rory (Sutherland) can do this, but people who want to do their first marathon, their first triathlon or they just want to improve their PR. Many don't know how to train, they don't know how to eat and so we can really help them a lot."
In regards to trying to lose weight from exercising, San Millan says something surprising:
“The notion that a grueling training schedule automatically leads to fitness and good health is a myth. Why? Because an exercise regimen not tailored to your metabolism can leave you feeling fatigued – and leave you stubbornly over your optimal weight.”
Ever had any of these kinds of tests done? Not me. I’ve only had my gait analyzed by the sport’s medicine people. Can’t wait to delve into this world and learn what might have contributed to my injuries and how I can improve efficiency and performance. Also can’t wait to share what I find out with you all.
Have you ever wondered why you can’t improve your performance or why you cannot lose weight while exercising? While I don't exercise to lose weight, I am always trying to improve efficiency and performance. I’m anxious to hear what I could be doing differently. My guess is that I train in heart rates zones that are too high and this has contributed to past injuries. I am also positive that I don’t fuel as well as I could.