Using Technology to Keep Motivated with vV0(2max) Interval Analysis

Technology helps me keep motivated since my goal races of Seek the Peak and the Grouse Mountain Grind Race are 6 and 9 months away. Performance management tools (software and devices) have come a long way in twenty years. I started using Polar Heart rate monitors to ensure that I was in the target training zone, not too high and not too low. Heart rates had to be just right like Goldilocks. The problems with using a heart rate monitor alone are that they don’t show far you go or your pace for each zone. Last July, after using Polar monitors without GPS since I was a teenager, I was convinced to switch to a Garmin 305 Forerunner with GPS to track speed, distance and heart rates.

In business management there is a saying “what is measured, will be managed,” so what are your key performance indicators when improving your fitness? Mine are 1. Speed at lactate threshold increases; 2. heart rate at X speed decreases or speed at X heart increases. Recently my focus has been to boosting my VO(2max) and vVO(2max), the maximum amount of oxygen my body can process and at the pace that I can sustain that effort at.

Combining the GPS of the Garmin Forerunner 305 with Training Peaks WK0+ enables me to analyse each training session to see if my speed at certain heart rates is increasing. By comparing the same type of sessions over several weeks noticed some trends. Below is a comparison of the last three weeks of vVO(2max) interval sessions which were mostly completed on the treadmill at 8.9 – 9.2 mph for vVO(2max) periods.


vVO(2 max) Intervals (Work:Recovery min)



Normalized Grade Pace

Min HR

Max HR

Avg HR

Recovery Pace (mph)


3.0 : 3.0


38.1 (0.936)

7:55 (203.3 m/min)






3.5 : 3.0


0 (0)






3.5 : 3.0


0 (0)






3.5 : 3.0


0 (0)






3.25 : 3.0


0 (0)






3.0 : 3.0


0 (0)





Today was such a beautiful day that I went outside on a fairly flat area of North Vancouver. It was quite a challenge to figure what 8.9 mph – 9.1 mph feels like on the road (see this workout on training peaks). This week is a recovery week, so the duration of the work period was reduced to 3.0 min. Throughout the last three weeks I was able to keep the average heart rate similar for each session, maximum heart is close to the same level, recovery pace increased without a big jump in heart rate while speed for each interval increased from 8.9 mph to 9.1 mph.

All of this data only becomes information when it is analysed and then knowledge when I use it to adjust my training. Over time next four weeks I will continue to complete these vVO(2max) intervals and retest my VO(2max) at near the end of February. Tomorrow I should have the Footpod for the Garmin which will log the indoor pacing more accurately during inclement weather.

Seeing these small increments and feeling the ease at which I am able to run for 40 minutes is keeping me motivated to continue training for Seek the Peak and informed that my workouts are having the physiological affect I want.

How do you keep motivated to reach your fitness resolutions or goals? How do you keep motivated to reach your business goals? What do you measure? How do you translate the data in information and then into valuable information that affects your decisions?

Related Posts

Getting Unstuck from Doing Long Slow Distance to Increase VO(2max)

How to Get Unstuck – Resolve to Achieve

We are all guilty of being stuck reciting our stories over and over. Whether it be tales of the past, traumas or otherwise, being stuck in the present, habitually repeating the same routines or believing that we are forced to stay in a job that we really don’t like or no longer serves us. This is the year when I leave those stories behind me. If you want something different from your life in 2011, do something different!

Reflecting on the year is almost a rite of passage at the end of each year. We review our accomplishments for the year and set our RESOLUTIONS for the next. Now is a time to pat ourselves on our back for 2010 and set new goals for 2011.

2010 was the year that I started adding themes to each year, first with “Seeking the Peak.” “Seeking the Peak” will never end for me, however it did enable me to focus on achieving high standards, something that my father tried to instill in me from a very young age. A couple of years ago I left Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar with the mantra “I set the new standard” ingrained into my psyche.

In 2010, I pushed some of my physical boundaries to achieve a 38 minute Grouse Grind, completed Seek the Peak(16km from Ambleside Park to the peak of Grouse Mountain) and achieved a level peak physical fitness that I have not seen for myself in nearly 10 years. Financially, I decided it was time to start living in a cash positive state, rather than subject myself to the enticement of credit cards and the “gotta have it now” mentality. I slashed my personal debt; 2011 is when it will be gone.

One of my peak experiences was volunteering along-side my father during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics at the same venue. This year I tried grow my business hoping, expecting that a few things would go my way, some did, several did not. What surprised me is how I took the risk of interviewing and hiring over-the phone and found two great employees; one is still working for Lifemoves®, the other was only here for a self-directed summer co-op. I took risks, I made mistakes, I learned, I succeeded, I moved on and became stuck.

In 2010, I tried to wait patiently as Steve Nash Sports Club merged with Fitness World; I got stuck waiting for things to change, things to move which prevented me from taking action on several initiatives. I also became stuck in the excitement of hosting bigger and bolder events and wasn’t watching the financial picture as much as I should have been. There I was stuck – needing to have the best of graphics and video for our marketing when there were things I could have done that “would do” and would have moved us in a forward direction.

Marketing slightly below your brand standards doesn’t mean that it is forever. It is a for now that will get your business name, services and products in front of potential clients. For example, using the tools we already have access to Lifemoves® will be adding more videos on YouTube in 2011; perhaps, not with HD or the world’s best camera, however as Fiona Walsh said to me “perfectionism is not profitable,” in life or in business.

At home, each day started and finished the same way. Each day was a comfortable routine, that was feeling uncomfortable, yet took very little thought or effort – stuck again.

Learning to Move On – Getting Unstuck

It took a Christmas shopping trip to the bookstore to get me unstuck. I was looking for gift books when I stumbled upon “Stuck: Why We Can’t or Won’t Move On,” by Anneli Rufus. With its bold title “STUCK” staring at me from the shelf, I had to pick it up.

It described exactly how I was feeling – like there was more to life – and I was stuck in a sticky mess that I was having difficulty getting out of. After flipping through a few pages I knew I had to read it. Stuck describes in great, detailed, poetic and entertaining prose why people become wrapped in the past, present, the future, habits (good, bad and ugly), jobs and trauma and how to get unstuck. Ms. Rufus doesn’t mince words or sugar coat ideas instead she challenges your thoughts in order to wake you up.

The first chapter had an immediate impact. It set the theme for 2011 – Unstuck. This year will be all about finding my voice again, expressing how I feel and doing things differently than I have before knowing that I have choices. I am not stuck going to the same coffee shop each morning I am choosing to go the same place. Perhaps, there will be days when I go elsewhere, but I am not enslaved to this habit.

I didn’t have to wait for January 1st. On Boxing Day I went snowshoeing for the first time in a very, very long time.

First Steps to Becoming Unstuck in 2011

We all have choices. We all have habits that are either destroying us or building us. Start the journey on being unstuck by making one conscientious choice today that is different than you normally would have. If you choose to do the same at least go forward saying to yourself – “I am choosing to …” It will change your entire outlook on life, you might just stumble upon happiness while you are at it. To achieve a different life in 2011 than in 2010, each decision you make needs to be different. Resolve to take action each and every day.


Stuck: Why We Can’t or Won’t Move On

Stumbling Upon Happiness

Resolution Blog Posts:

Tips on Keeping Resolutions from Cliff Harvey

Sleep – The Underrated Resolution from Jon Eng, Coastal Fitness