Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breaking the 4 minute mile and other good news

Good news from the stress echocardiogram on achilles pain! I also learned that I had no long QT interval while my heart was working at about 93% max HR and the cardiologist gave it a clean bill of health.

Things I've learned wearing my HRM while roller skiing the last two weeks

1. my HR is very low (<130, or very ez run rate) when I'm skating without poles but raises about 10-15 bpm when I V2 (poling with each skate push). Indeed, when I'm V2ing, my HR is often near 140 and its hard to have a really easy HR (say 135 or below). Here is a video of a V2.

2. My HR while skiing is not a good indicator of my effort level, at least if I compare to my running HR. Today I did a 3 x ~9-10 minute cruise intervals. The first two I did just skating (no pole). My average HR was 145 on the first (downwind) and 151 on the second (stiff headwind). My max HR was 157 and 159. I was rolling as fast as I could go (without poles) yet my max HR was about the average for something like Pineland 25K or the Maine Marathon. The last interval I did with poles and it was, again, down wind and my avg HR was 153 and my max was 164. That's about my max HR during the Maine Marathon or Pineland 25K, but again, I was rolling as fast as I could, this time with poles.

My fastest mile (the 2nd mile of the 3rd cruise interval) was 3:52.91. This was a rolling net descent of about 85-90 feet (1.7% grade) and down wind. This is also 15 mph. Elite skiers AVERAGE 15 mph over 50K. Helige schiesse! That is wicked awesome power and wicked stunning balance (and wicked high cadence with the poling as well).

This all sheds some light on why I suck so much at ski racing: 1) I simply don't have enough leg strength to generate the power to ski faster (that is my heart is overdeveloped for my skiing power) and 2) I don't have the balance to pole during really high speed skiing. This is harder on roller skis of course (where a mistake hurts more). I can run as fast as Moses Mosop's marathon pace, at least for a very short distance. But I cannot ski as fast as Petter Northug's 50K pace, no matter how short the distance.

(I also learned that skating really hard stressed my achilles a bit much)


  1. V2 looks much harder than running, form and technique are everything. It seems the knees could take beating...funny your heart rate doesn't seem to match your effort on skis

  2. In summary: ski racing is dumb.

  3. Yay achilles, yay no long QT!!!

  4. I knew you were overdeveloped. And damn it! I'm pretty sure we ALL knew you'd be running before long. HELL YEAH MOTHA%@^&*%$*!!!

  5. Hurray for feeling good! And yes, v2 is hard!

  6. Super stoked for you man. Awesome news with the heart and the achilles. Everything is coming up Walker!!! Looking forward to running with you again soon.