Monday, April 10, 2006

Maximal Stress Test

What a great sounding term!

Unfortunately, the implications are dire, and involve subjecting yourself to wheezing, gasping, aches and muscles that you didn't even know you had shrieking "Enough is enough! Dammit!"

A *Maximal Stress Test* is merely a way to determine the fastest rate your heart can beat. Getting it there is the tricky bit. It's an easy enough process to describe ...... slowly wind your treadmill up to around 5 mph, over about 10 mins, then increase the gradient by 2% every three minutes. At some point (often quite quickly) there will be a pounding in your ears as individual red blood cells remind you that they have given all they can, and are now off on a long vacation .... so quit already.

Hopefully, when this happens, your Heart Rate Monitor will have recorded a figure that computes with those living, and in reasonable shape.

There are a bunch of ways to estimate what your heart should be able to manage. In my case, a 46 year old male, it is in the range 174 to 178, decreasing by about 1 bpm per year. This can be out by up to 15% and as the training zones are 10 to 20% wide, can make quite a difference to the value of the exercise. Running is time-consuming, so ya might as well get the most from each mile.

Long story short ......... 189!

Yup, the Limey has heart :)

Jodie was *officiating* during the test. It was apparant, even to me who was dying out there, that she seemed to be rather more amused than she should have been every time she hit the gradient button.

Course, she still has to do hers, and I have control .....

ps. We went to Dallas to collect the treadmill we bought. This involved crossing the Red River, and that leads me nicely onto a cute little anecdote from my childhood .... coming next.

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