Today I decided to have my Personal Trainer conduct a heart rate zone assessment so that I can see how my VO2 and fitness levels have improved over the past 3 months. My sport watch's zone settings were based upon calculations rather than an actual test so I figured before I go too much farther in my training for the 10K, I should attempt to get a better reading of where my heart rate zones are.
So the test is done on a treadmill walking at varying inclines between 2-15% but at a steady pace. You have to wear this breathing mask over your mouth and nose, where you breathe in and out through your mouth only. This is connected to a laptop running special software which can measure the amount of oxygen you are taking in and exhaling -- thereby being able to measure how much oxygen you are using while you work out. And of course, you wear your heart rate monitor so the laptop is also tracking your heart rate at the same time.
The assessment took 20 minutes. It was a litlte hard getting used to breathing only from my mouth, especially when the incline was 12% and higher! The results were encouraging! My Peak VO2 was at 31% which is an improvement. My Base Threshold was 146 -- this is the heart rate at which my body is the most efficient at burning fat. My Anerobic Threshold was 159 -- this is where the body starts to labor and burns sugar rather than fat. Knowing these numbers, and the heart rate breakdown for the five heart rate training zones, is going to be key to monitoring my workout effort and effectiveness.
My personal trainer gave me all the reports and then configured my sport watch with the updated heart rate zone information. Now I can do my cardio and runs at levels that make much better sense for me as I work to determine my optimal run pace and fat burn levels.
After my assessment, I did my cardio TEAM Weight Loss program. I burned almost 900 calories in that workout! Sweet!