What’s Next

Runners! Now that I’ve been working with muscle oxygen sensors for nine months, I’m becoming more interested in using them to guide training sessions. I’m currently doing a little of this work with local runners but would love to have more runners come in for data-driven interval training. When I use the sensors to identify what limits performance, the next step is stressing that limiter to improve performance. Limiters are stressed differently. The sensors offer live feedback about how your body is responding to a workout that is specific to your limiter. The trends tell me when to stop an interval, when recovery is reached so that we can start the next interval, and when to end a workout before digging a hole. This is smart training that results in fewer injuries, less burnout and better race times. This would be similar to hiring me for an hour of personal training.

Here’s an example: Let’s say that I have a runner who hopes to PR at the Mount Washington Road Race. I have identified that they are cardiac-limited during a 5-1-5. At our next appointment, I would loosely design a Mount Washington-specific workout where I had them running repeats at 10-15%. Their compensation pattern is ultimately to vasoconstrict as they fatigue but using the sensors we can avoid this pattern by doing careful ramp up training and ending the interval based on live feedback from the sensors. The ramp up approach reduces muscle tension and avoids their tendency to occlude. On the other hand, if this runner were respiratory-limited, their compensation is to vasodilate so their workout would look completely different.

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