A look back to see my progress

This weekend I compiled all of the fitness test results since I began training in January 2019. I was mostly interested in how my training zones have changed over the last 18 months. 


Running pace has improved a lot


First, notice that my lactate threshold has improved by more than 3 minutes/mile. Meaning, if I ran a pace faster than 11:06 in Jan 2019, I would cross my lactate threshold. However, in July of this year, test results show that I have to run faster than 7:50/mile to cross my lactate threshold. This decrease in time is a great illustration of physiological adaptation. My body has adapted to handle increased stress without going into anaerobic processes. 

Second, in January 2019, my all-out effort pace (Zone 5) was 10:00 min/mile.  Now, the pace for my easy run (zone 1) is 9:51 min/mile. This is so remarkable to me because my zone 1 is now faster than zone 5 when I began 18 months ago.  Yet another example of physiological adaptations to stress.

Finally, the trend line (black) and overall paces have decreased over time. 


Cycling power changes

I see the same type of trends with cycling as with running. 

Zone 1 – My current easy zone (zone 1) tops out at 190 watts which is higher than what was hard (zone 3) in January 2019. 

For the first half of 2019, I wasn’t able to get past zone 3.  This is the point in time that I took nutrition, the 4th discipline, seriously. I was bonking in zone 3 every time. 

Just like the improvement in running, I saw an increase in power to reach my lactate threshold. Having a higher lactate threshold permits me to work harder without causing excess stress physiologically. It’s due to adaptations in cardiovascular fitness and muscle efficiency. 

The trends are moving in the right direction. 

Overall, my fitness is trending in the right direction. I’ve gotten stronger, lost weight, become leaner, and improved my endurance capacity. Now that I have data to look back, I see the power of consistent, disciplined methodical training. The progress, changes to my body haven’t happened quickly, but they are happening gradually over time. A gradual change was my objective from the conceptions of the ludicrous goal…establish a new life habit, not a quick fix. 

I’m absolutely delighted with my progress. I’m eager to see what another 18 months will bring.