Well, I finally managed to get my Beep Test done. The weather is still quite warm which may have effected my run a little, but on the whole it was a beautiful day, so I walked down to the local school with my wife, set up my phone with a free Beep Test App and some portable speakers, measured out the distance on the running track, and set up a pair of cones 20 meters apart. My wife controlled the app (Basically hitting the start and stop buttons) and called out her encouragement from the sideline. After running back and forth for several minutes my heart rate monitor was telling me I was at my maximum, but I didn’t really need an over-featured “wrist watch” telling me that because I was soon sweating rivers and struggling to keep up the pace as it increased from minute to minute. After calling it quits I ended up with a test result of 6/4, and which this calculator tells me means my predicted VO2 Max is 34.4 ml/kg/min.
The results have surprised me a little. While I had hoped I could reach a test score of at least 7/5, I’d kind of suspected that I’d score somewhere closer to 4/1. I guess I’m a little fitter than I thought I was. Considering that I was running with some lower back pain and having just recovered from a soft tissue injury to my thigh, I have a feeling that I’ll be able to do MUCH better next time if I can get my breathing under control. I found myself breathing very hard by the end of the test, so I hope with a little further training and development of both my core and chest, I’ll be able to get on top of what I feel is a more a shortness of breath issue than simply a lack of stamina.
So the net result of this test for me is that it has given me a baseline to improve from, and allows me to visualise a goal of 10/1 by the end of September when I aim to complete my Master Personal Trainer course. I’ve also identified an issue with my breathing which I hope to resolve with targeted training, although I’ll probably see my doctor first to determine if there are any medical issue that could account for my shortness of breath other than simply being below average in fitness. I had my heart checked recently, and my blood work is fine so I don’t expect there to be any specific medical issues, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when embarking on a new and strenuous exercise regimen.
It’s now the 7th day that I have been eating like a caveman, and I thought that a short and somewhat early update might be in order. First of all, I convinced my wife to change to a paleo diet also, although she has sadly fallen off the wagon a couple of times and had a little bread and some “sweeties” with her tea, while I’ve been the almost “saintly” fellow who wouldn’t dare to eat something non-paleo… except for that tiny piece of dark chocolate that was calling my name endlessly! 😀 Oh well, back on the wagon for both of us. My wife commented to me today several hours after breakfast (2 slices of melon, a mango, and a nectarine) that she was surprised that she didn’t feel hungry after having eaten only fruit this morning. Neither of us have been tempted to snack during the day, and we seem to be consuming more water without it feeling like it’s a chore. Our diet is now approximately 40% protein (lean meat, fish, mushroom, etc), 40% carbs (from fruits and vegetables, no sugars, grains or legumes), and with the rest made up of nuts, good fats and oils, and the occasional splash of dairy with a cup of tea.
While the meals have been quite simple, and the quantities have been generally smaller than we used to eat, we both feel like we have lots of energy and like we’ve never eaten so well in our lives. My sleep is improving daily, and I never feel bloated, sleepy, or unable to exercise. In some ways I feel like my life has changed in only 7 days, and I’m very excited about how much healthier I believe I will feel in the coming months. I’m also becoming more convinced that many of the diets and nutrition advice out there may be “wrong” in a sense, but I’ll need to read more of the research before I can definitely say for sure.
In other news… I’ve been using a lot of my free time to read various books and research papers relating to fitness, and I’ve also been taking the time to add some additional pages to this blog which I hope you’ll have the time to look at. There are lots of pages still waiting for me to fill them out (where I’ve had an idea but still haven’t found the time to write it up), however I do have most of my Fitness Test pages done for the time being. This stuff is mainly there so I can find it easily, although I hope that you’ll also find it valuable. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive Health and Fitness resource however, I’d recommending having a look at the Top End Sports website, which is a terrific site that I came across yesterday.
So after 7 days I feel as though my personal journey is off to a great start. I’m not feeling too tempted by “naughty” foods, enjoying my training, I’m motivated and excited about the year ahead.
From me and my lovely cave-girl, I hope your year is off to a cracking start too! 🙂