p pol The Adventures of Carboman: Keeping Tabs On The Body

Friday, April 29, 2005

Keeping Tabs On The Body

It seems that I still have time for a couple more posts

From June 1995 Runner's World

You don't have to be chasing world records to fall prey to overtraining, that insidious paradox of getting zapped by your own zeal. Not only do you get slower despite working harder, but studies show you also risk depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia and a weakened immune system. Now thanks to Finnish researcher Heikki Rusko, PhD, there's a reliable test for overtraining. Better still, it'll warn you if you're on the verge of overtraining, giving you time to adjust before the bottom falls out.

Until Rusko's new method, the best you could do was either check your resting heart rate each morning (not very accurate) or have blood tests done (not very cheap). Rusko's new test picks up on the resting pulse technique but improves on it, as you'll see. Here's how it works:

- Lie quietly for 10 minutes. Then stand up and wait exactly 12 seconds before counting your pulse for 6 seconds. Write this number down.

- Next, starting precisely 90 seconds after you stood up, count your pulse again, but this time for 30 seconds. Write this number down.

- Now convert these two numbers to heart rates (beats per minute) by multiplying the first reading by 10 and the second by 2.

Do this test every day at the same time of the day. If you're not overtrained, these two readings will remain remarkably constant from day to day. If you're overtrained, or heading in that direction, you'll see a gradual rise in your heart rates - especially in your later reading. Rusko found that overtrained Finnish cross-country skiers showed 10 to 15 beat-per-minute increases in their second readings over a four-week period. The gradual increase gave the Finns time to ease up on their training. So take the test; you may need the rest.

Porter Shimer


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