I'm in my 8th of 18 week training for the Buckeye Challenge Half Ironman. There are 4 more weeks left of base training to build up strength and endurance. During this build up phase I am focusing on not missing any of the bike rides. And up to now I have been able to keep on track by not missing any of the long rides. Although, finding the time and place to ride becomes a challenge. I have to be creative with my time and route.
I ran 20 miles this past Sunday to begin the counterpulsation tests for this week. This is part two of a test that began at the end of March. At that time I was training for the Boston marathon and had run my last 20 miler before tapering for Boston. Results from that test showed that after the 20 mile run and under normal recovery my blood levels went back to normal after 5 days. This time I ran 20 miles, only 2 minutes slower (2:26:14), and I felt little discomfort or soreness. The blood test after 2 days so far indicate a faster recovery compared to the previous test. The faster recovery is what the lab techs were expecting, due to the counterpulsation test.
The counterpulsation consists of laying flat on your back with these cuffs wrapped around each leg completely and air is force into the cuffs to compress the legs so that the blood is forced back up into the heart during the resting phase of the heart beat. The lab techs monitor the blood pressure to make sure the lower number of my blood pressure does not exceed 1.4 times higher than the upper number of my blood pressure. For example if my blood pressure is 114/80 then when the machine is pumping air, in rhythm of my heart beat, the blood pressure may read 114/114. Anyway by using this method it is supposed that muscle recovery is enhanced by 2 to 3 days. The only discomfort I have is when the cuffs compress my legs it feels like someone is constantly punching them all over. I have to lay for 1 hour for 5 days. Three more days of speedy recovery. Oh, boy!
If I had to pay for this speedy recovery I'd say no thank you. But rather they are paying me $500.00 for this fancy test. I'm a triathlete so I put up with the little discomfort and enjoy the cash.
With the $500.00 I will buy a Garmin Forerunner 205 Wrist-Mounted GPS Navigator and Personal Training Device, and a weekend backpack for my lovely wife.
I will post more test results and numbers when I complete the test.