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Steve Mitchell's Marathon Journal

3 Posts tagged with the marathon_training tag

Disclaimer: This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.


My next few posts will cover my journey into the world of metabolism courtesy of New Leaf Fitness. New Leaf partners are trained to use sophisticated New Leaf metabolic testing equipment to assess your body's metabolism. There are two parts to the testing: resting metabolic rate (RMR) and an assessment of your metabolic rate during exercise. Why is this important to your training? New Leaf has a nice write-up called Why Motabolism Matters.


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Jason D. listening to instructions during his New Leaf Exercise Metabolic Test


My main interest in a metabolic assessment is weight loss. Despite training for several marathons the last two years, my weight is not where I would like it to be. How many people have you heard say that they don't lose weight during marathon training? I'm sure there are many reasons why. One reason is that we tend to train in heart rate zones 3 and 4 in which your body burns more carbohydrates than fats.Your body burns the most fat in heart rate zone 1.


The New Leaf exercise metabolic rate test gives you the precise boundaries of your individual heart rate zones, your maximum heart rate, your aerobic base, and your anaerobic threshold. Aerobic Base (AB) is the corresponding heart rate whereby your body is burning 50:50 fat/carbohydrate as fuel for your workout. Anaerobic Threshold (AT) is the corresponding heart rate threshold whereby fat utilization significantly decreases and carbohydrate utilization significantly increases due to the shift to anaerobic metabolism. It is possible to raise your AB, and in so doing increase your fuel supply for endurance events by burning fat longer. I'll delve into that topic in a later post.


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Claudette keeps a watchful eye during DaShaun C.'s New Leaf Exercise Metabolic Test


Four members of my team at Garmin had our exercise metabolic rate measured last week by Claudette S, a member of the Garmin Fitness Team trained on New Leaf metabolic testing equipment. This test gave us our individual heart rate zones (mine is shown below), AB, AT, maximum heart rate and VO2 Max. Each of our heart rate zones varied greatly. Sadly, mine are the least impressive results of the bunch. Our CO2 maximums were also varied. They ranged from mine, 39, to Joe H., in the mid sixties. Joe ran Twin Cities in 2:50ish. By comparison, Lance Armstrong has a VO2 max of 85.


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My Personal Heart Rate Zones from the eNewLeaf Site


Tomorrow I am having my resting metabolic rate tested by my chiropractor, Tom Teter, at Synergy Health and Wellness, a New Leaf partner. That test will give me a precise calorie goal to target each day. Together with my exercise metabolic rate results, that is all the information I need to achieve my weight loss goals without taking away from my marathon training.


My New Leaf heart rate zone training will be seperate workouts done on my treadmill or bike trainer. That's in addition to my normal marathon training provided by Coach Eladio Valdez of Runners Edge. Why? Because my heart rate is too high during running. I did a test on my run into Garmin this morning. My zone 1 range, where I burn the most fat, is from 106 - 115 bpm. While running my average heart rate may be as high as 170 bpm.


This morning I decided to see if I could keep my heart rate under 160 bpm no matter how slow I had to run. The result was an intolerably slow jog with an average pace of 12:26/mile. That was an exercise in futility because at 160 bpm I'm well into zone 3 and my fat burning is quite low. Of course, running will lead to weight loss if you consume less calories than you burn, but exercising at a lower heart rate will burn fat more efficiently.


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Claudette smiles for the camera as I take my New Leaf Exercise Metabolic Test


My plan is to to alternate between my treadmill and my cycle trainer following the workouts provided by New Leaf. These workoust are primarily in zones 1 and 2. Not only will they burn more fat than my runs, but over time they will raise my AB to improve my endurance.


The most important pieces of equipment for these workouts will be my Garmin Forerunner and my Garmin heart rate monitor. In addition, for the treadmill I purchased a Garmin foot pod. For the bike I purchased a Garmin cadence sensor. Together, these accessories should give my all the telemetric data I could want about my New Leaf workouts. That being said, I am disappointed that my primary devices, a Forerunner 210 and Edge 800, are not compatible with the New Life site. Instead, I will need to use the Garmin Forerunner 305 that I purchased before joining Garmin. Nevertheless, my Forerunner 305 will do just fine for the New Leaf program.


My next post will cover my first treadmill and bike trainer activities using workouts downloaded from


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