A week or two ago I finally took both a bike and run VO2 Max test at Seattle Sport Medicine. I got lucky and they had a cancelation so I was able to get in so quickly.
It started out easy enough - put on the crazy mask and lay down and relax for 15 min with out falling asleep to get my resting metabolic rate. I did 2 bike test and 2 run tests - I'm not really sure the details of what they were all about but they sure were a challenge. I was smoked after each test. Though it was fun to push myself that hard.
After the tests they went over the results with me. No real surprises. The main take away information is my VO2 max is good on the bike (but room for improvement). VO2 max was lower than predicted on the run. Need to improve VO2 max watts on the bike. Need to raise VO2 max on run and not do as much tempo training. Increase calorie intake. I now have very specific numbers for my heart rate zones to train with.
Immediately my training schedule was adjusted - all of my work outs became steady aerobic in zones 2-3a (with exception of two races - St. Patrick's Day Dash and Mercer Island 10k). The twice a week strength training sessions became more of a priority and more focused.
Now 1 week in to the world of zone 2-3a it is a challenge to keep my hear rate in check and it just feels weird to go so easy for an entire work out. But I'm going with it and trusting my coach and the numbers and am going to keep going slow and easy till she tells me to do something else... It does feel good to have a higher level of focus or detail to my work outs...