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So What Is Wrong With Me??

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So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:20 pm

I have been using a Garmin 620 for over a year now.  I've improved my VO2 Max to 69 from the high 50s when I started.  So, for those of you that use this device what do you think of the following:

My race predictor times according to my watch:


distance      prediction     current PR
5k              15:05           18:46
10k             31:22           38:39
HM              1:09:10        1:24:36
M                2:24:50        2:53:52

So what do you guys think?  Am I just a classic underachiever?  Should I increase my mileage to 300 or 400 miles a week?  More speed work?  Am I just a wimp when it comes to racing?  Just suck it up and run through the pain?

I know that they use an algorithm to do all this and I've input my age, gender and weight correctly so there's nothing on my end.  I can buy the fact that I've improved over the last year -- by 15% -- mmmmmmmmmmmm?  Maybe, maybe not.

Are your numbers as far off as mine?  Is their VO2 max just way off?  Curious as to your thoughts.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:46 pm

VO2max is not as good of a predictor of race times as people once thought.  Your vVO2max, however, is.  That takes into account your turnover, efficiency, etc.  

But tbh, Garmin's algorithm probably sucks.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mul21 on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:22 am

So, Garmin is dumb and not to be trusted in this particular situation.  Your VO2Max or VDOT, whatever you want to call it, is likely somewhere in the mid 50s.  Not surprisingly, your times give you a higher number the longer the race, which based on your training and , ahem, age, makes complete sense to me.

They're great at measuring distance and time, but when it comes to telling you how fast to train or how fast you can race, I'd trust your own reality based judgement more than anything else.  And if it makes you feel better, even as a skinny high school kid, I never got out of the low 60s on the chart.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Admin on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:49 am

Yep.  400 miles a week should do it.  Laughing

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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Mark B on Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:19 pm

Sorry to sound like one of those ED ads, but do you have a difficult time sustaining speed once you get going?

Fading or failure to achieve predicted paces can be a sign that your underlying aerobic system needs work. Improving aerobic fitness also helps lift the lactate threshold, which greatly improves your ability to perform closer to your potential.

Hadd's Approach to Distance Training is built around that notion. He explains it all in the link I just inserted. I think that sort of work helps runners at all ability levels, but I think it has the biggest potential to help high-performing runners like yourself get the most out of their bodies. It's a dense read, but well worth it.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:13 pm

Mr MattM wrote:Yep.  400 miles a week should do it.  Laughing
but then my VO2 max would get higher and therefore my predicted times lower.  Never ending cycle.  Ha.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:16 pm

mul21 wrote:So, Garmin is dumb and not to be trusted in this particular situation.  Your VO2Max or VDOT, whatever you want to call it, is likely somewhere in the mid 50s.  Not surprisingly, your times give you a higher number the longer the race, which based on your training and , ahem, age, makes complete sense to me.

They're great at measuring distance and time, but when it comes to telling you how fast to train or how fast you can race, I'd trust your own reality based judgement more than anything else.  And if it makes you feel better, even as a skinny high school kid, I never got out of the low 60s on the chart.
I could care less what my VO2 max or vVO2 max is.  I train the best I can and whatever happens, happens.  I just find it interesting how they tout this "predictive" feature and it doesn't come close.  At least in my case.  

I know others on here, Michele, Shuey use the same watch and was curious what others were experiencing.  A bunch of hooey like me, or something more realistic.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  ounce on Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:02 am

I think they're prediction is much like they're ability to measure distance, as it's taken from 200 miles up therefore it's margin of error increases the longer you run, e.g. measuring 26.49 miles for a 26.2 race.

Maybe compare to McMillan?  Or like you said, just train and see what happens.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:25 pm

ounce wrote:I think they're prediction is much like they're ability to measure distance, as it's taken from 200 miles up therefore it's margin of error increases the longer you run, e.g. measuring 26.49 miles for a 26.2 race.

Maybe compare to McMillan?  Or like you said, just train and see what happens.

Like McMillan, I think that the predictor is just to give you an idea of what you may be able to do in a perfect scenario. I would use as a guide, but take it with a grain of salt. My race predictor on my 920 has me at a 3:00:00 marathon and my current PR is 3:04:35. I, though have only had a handful of runs on this watch, so i am sure that things will change over time.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  fostever on Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:16 pm

Something's wrong with the predictor or the VO2 max calc is wrong. Those are close to world record times. Not that it's impossible, but I'm sure your current PR's weren't cakewalks. What's your perceived effort? That would be the best way of knowing and something only you would know. Based on how you've tight-roped injuries last couple training cycles I'm thinking you are training close to max for your AG. You may be over thinking this running thing  Rolling Eyes
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:04 pm

fostever wrote:Something's wrong with the predictor or the VO2 max calc is wrong. Those are close to world record times. Not that it's impossible, but I'm sure your current PR's weren't cakewalks. What's your perceived effort? That would be the best way of knowing and something only you would know. Based on how you've tight-roped injuries last couple training cycles I'm thinking you are training close to max for your AG. You may be over thinking this running thing  Rolling Eyes
you guys are misinterpreting me.  I know there's nothing wrong with me.  It's the watch, algorithm, heart rate monitor, or something.  I know I'm running near my max capability.  I'm in the 86-87% of age group range.  I'm not going to work any harder.  I'm just curious what's going on data wise.  The only think I can think of is I have a pretty low heart rate overall and rarely ever see 150.  Maybe that skews the VO2 max data up.  Or maybe as others have said, the formula sucks or there is little correlation.  Anyway it makes for some interesting discussion.  If I was really geeky I'd go get my VO2max tested somewhere and compare, but that seems like a lot of work.

But Garmin does market this feature and if its this far off on me, I wonder what value it has to begin with.  Would love to have the world record but it ain't happenin'.  lol
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:22 pm

It might be our age, Michael, or in my case the fact that I am a "middle" distance long distance runner.  The watch gives me a VO2 max of 51, and the following predictions:

                5K:   21:16
               10K:  44:06
               Half:  1:37:42
               Full:   3:23:16

I ran a 22:30 5K this summer over hills, a 46 min 10K without racing, and a 1:40 half in the middle of marathon training with no taper - so are those times possible, yup.  As for the marathon time, I have always been off by 10 min or so there (McMillan predicts 3:26), but could I run faster than the 3:49 that I ran at NYC - yes, I believe that I could given a fast course and the same training (remember NYC isn't fast and there were 40 mph winds).  Can I run sub 3:50 at Boston?  Maybe, but not off winter training here in OH.  But could I run sub 3:40 which I think is more realistic - I think I could, if I really wanted to hurt more than I do now.  Can I run the 1:37?  I think that is way more in my reach if I trained for it.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mul21 on Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:11 pm

mountandog wrote:
fostever wrote:Something's wrong with the predictor or the VO2 max calc is wrong. Those are close to world record times. Not that it's impossible, but I'm sure your current PR's weren't cakewalks. What's your perceived effort? That would be the best way of knowing and something only you would know. Based on how you've tight-roped injuries last couple training cycles I'm thinking you are training close to max for your AG. You may be over thinking this running thing  Rolling Eyes
you guys are misinterpreting me.  I know there's nothing wrong with me.  It's the watch, algorithm, heart rate monitor, or something.  I know I'm running near my max capability.  I'm in the 86-87% of age group range.  I'm not going to work any harder.  I'm just curious what's going on data wise.  The only think I can think of is I have a pretty low heart rate overall and rarely ever see 150.  Maybe that skews the VO2 max data up.  Or maybe as others have said, the formula sucks or there is little correlation.  Anyway it makes for some interesting discussion.  If I was really geeky I'd go get my VO2max tested somewhere and compare, but that seems like a lot of work.

But Garmin does market this feature and if its this far off on me, I wonder what value it has to begin with.  Would love to have the world record but it ain't happenin'.  lol

So this particular point has me intrigued.  I'd bet that this is exactly what's throwing off the calculations by the software and that makes lots of sense to me.  You probably have a much narrower range of HR numbers for it to use for calculations and since it's a very generalized algorithm, I'd be willing to bet it uses the HR delta between fast and slow paces in figuring out the numbers, therefore making it inaccurate for someone like you.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:06 pm

mul21 wrote:
mountandog wrote:
fostever wrote:Something's wrong with the predictor or the VO2 max calc is wrong. Those are close to world record times. Not that it's impossible, but I'm sure your current PR's weren't cakewalks. What's your perceived effort? That would be the best way of knowing and something only you would know. Based on how you've tight-roped injuries last couple training cycles I'm thinking you are training close to max for your AG. You may be over thinking this running thing  Rolling Eyes
you guys are misinterpreting me.  I know there's nothing wrong with me.  It's the watch, algorithm, heart rate monitor, or something.  I know I'm running near my max capability.  I'm in the 86-87% of age group range.  I'm not going to work any harder.  I'm just curious what's going on data wise.  The only think I can think of is I have a pretty low heart rate overall and rarely ever see 150.  Maybe that skews the VO2 max data up.  Or maybe as others have said, the formula sucks or there is little correlation.  Anyway it makes for some interesting discussion.  If I was really geeky I'd go get my VO2max tested somewhere and compare, but that seems like a lot of work.

But Garmin does market this feature and if its this far off on me, I wonder what value it has to begin with.  Would love to have the world record but it ain't happenin'.  lol

So this particular point has me intrigued.  I'd bet that this is exactly what's throwing off the calculations by the software and that makes lots of sense to me.  You probably have a much narrower range of HR numbers for it to use for calculations and since it's a very generalized algorithm, I'd be willing to bet it uses the HR delta between fast and slow paces in figuring out the numbers, therefore making it inaccurate for someone like you.
Interesting point - but I have a narrow range of HR numbers too (which I interpret as efficiency).  I can't seem to get my HR to the 85-90% levels easily anymore even in a 5K.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:59 pm

I will definitely have to do some more research on this.  More from an intellectual perspective than anything else.  Maybe there's some info on the Garmin forums.

BTW - did a 16 mile run on Saturday with 6@MP, which i found hard -- VO2 max dropped from 69-67.  I interpret that to mean I go worse.  lol.  didn't think it could change that much in a week.  Would think that this metric would really take some time to move in one direction or the other.  Although I could be wrong.  Ha.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:14 am

After my workout last night, my VO2 max is now up to 60. With a default of 50, that means that my VO2 max has increased 10 points in about a month.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:52 pm

Nick Morris wrote:After my workout last night, my VO2 max is now up to 60.  With a default of 50, that means that my VO2 max has increased 10 points in about a month.
is it just me or does 50 to 60 in one month, a 20% increase seem like a lot for 30 days?  Especially since you're already in some semblance of shape to begin with.  I'm beginning to trust these numbers generated by garmin less and less.
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:41 pm

mountandog wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:After my workout last night, my VO2 max is now up to 60.  With a default of 50, that means that my VO2 max has increased 10 points in about a month.
is it just me or does 50 to 60 in one month, a 20% increase seem like a lot for 30 days?  Especially since you're already in some semblance of shape to begin with.  I'm beginning to trust these numbers generated by garmin less and less.

Keep in mind that I just got my watch last month and by default it starts at 50. Then continues to learn my running and fitness level with the more I use it. Maybe it is just catching up to my actual level...
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:49 pm

I'm such a slacker as mine is only 50.  Of course, it started as 40 since I guess women have a lower VO2 Max - at least according to Garmin
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Re: So What Is Wrong With Me??

Post  mountandog on Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:24 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:I'm such a slacker as mine is only 50.  Of course, it started as 40 since I guess women have a lower VO2 Max - at least according to Garmin
that's where I've always classified you Michele.  Slacker.  Yup - that's it!   Very Happy
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