May 27, 2011

I've become a lab rat!

Today I had my V02 Max test at Oakland University in preparation for a study I'll be participating in as a runner. The proposed title for this study is:

Revisiting the Human Sweat Gland - Does arginine vasopressin modulate sweat sodium concentration via the V2 receptor?

I realize that is mumbo-jumbo to many, but most runners have probably heard of hyponatremia. Dr Tamara Hew-Butler's continuing research could go a long way toward understanding this condition and helping runners prevent it.

I was allowed to warm up at my leisure, so I ran on the treadmill in the lab for a little over 10 minutes at about 6.5 mph, then stepped off the treadmill and had the scary mask from hell put on my head. It was a mask that collected and measured all the gases I exhaled. As big and bizarre and heavy as it was, it actually did not bother me too much during the test.

The test had me start at 5.5 mph and then the speed was increased by 0.5 mph every minute until I could not go any longer. Since I couldn't talk with the mask on, it was a thumbs up or thumbs down to signal if I wanted to keep going. I made it 11 minutes, the final minute at 10.5 mph before I had to stop. My VO2 max was 57.6. They were hoping to get my HR too, but the HR monitor didn't work. Bummer.

The best part about it was that the longer I went, the more the five people there helping cheered me on. During the last 3-4 minutes, they were shouting their lungs out for me! It was great!! I bet that doesn't happen during most VO2 max tests!!

I'll be back in the lab on three more occasions. These three runs will be entirely different. No more VO2 max testing. Instead they'll be measuring my urine, sweat, blood and saliva after making me run for an hour and then undergoing a "performance trial". All this is after being given a diuretic, anti-diuretic or plecebo pill along with an ingestible core temperature sensor. I won't know which pill I'll be taking and neither will the researcher. Very cool. I'm very excited about this study and getting the chance to participate!

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red's 2011 race schedule