105 to 150 bpm AeT in 16 weeks– a tale of two tests

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  • #9027

    When I took my first test in mid-December, I went to a place in Seattle called Speck Health. Their test focused on VO2 Max, and also gave me an AeT of 105 bpm, with a metabolic crossover point (or whatever you call it, where my body favors carbs over fats) at right around the same HR. The test protocol didn’t have me on the treadmill for more than 20 minutes I think after a warmup, and my grade was ramped up every two minutes if I remember correctly.

    After talking to Scott J about this and my training background (I came from five years of powerlifting and HIIT and did 20 weeks of training for an Ironman 70.3 prior to starting the 24-week program), I was pointed to Real Rehab just north of Seattle, where I had my re-test performed yesterday.

    After 16 weeks, the test results came back and put my AeT at around 150 bpm, with a metabolic crossover point (carbs favored over fat) at right around 158 bpm. The new test administrator who has taken over from Cari had me warm up for 10 minutes, then fit the mask on me, and ramped up the grade 2% every four minutes for a total of about 50 minutes on the treadmill.

    1) The improvement is so stunning to me that I’m at a loss and frankly am skeptical. I mentioned the ramping protocol in the first test in December to Scott J, who expressed concerns, so I’m wondering if that test gave me a wildly inaccurate AeT to begin with.

    2) Even if test #1 was inaccurate, my last 16 weeks of Zone 1 training have been at 105-108 BPM. How is it even remotely possible that my AeT has been pushed to 150, when I haven’t trained at intermediary thresholds along the way? I would have expected to hit something closer to 115-125 bpm, and recalibrate to that.

    3) If the 150 bpm AeT is accurate (which I’m bouncing off of Cari as well), I’m concerned that if I adjust the last eight weeks of my training to that new AeT, the added stress goes against the gradual and slow increase in training intensity/volume that Uphill Athlete recommends. I’d love thoughts on this– would it be better to train at 120-130 bpm to lower the change in training intensity?

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    Anonymous on #9047

    I can’t be sure how inaccurate your first test was but I remain dubious that it gave you what you needed. This new test does look like good data and the cross over is pretty in line with what we would expect with someone who’s done 4 months of base training. While your gain is on the high side its not out of the question if you were doing a high volume of the base training. You may also be a fast responder. People training response/adaptability fits a bell shaped curve largely due to genetics.

    Do you have some old course you used to do with regularity? Like a hill climb or running loop. You can do a performance test and compare how fast you are on the same course at the same HR. Performance gains are really what we after in the end anyway.


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