Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rest Week, Plans, and a Cool Experiment

I have taken some rest after the C25K program and if work and weather permit, my plan is to get a shortish run in on Wednesday.  In order to become a higher level athlete, I'm clearly going to need considerably more weight loss.  To do this, I'm going to cut down on calories while continuing, even increasing, the amount of exercise I do.  To increase the amount of exercise, I will begin to lengthen my long jog and I will mix in some off-day cardio walks.  To cut down on calories, I will institute a NMS diet, where NMS means "No More Seconds".

Earning a level will require two weeks of exercising 4 or 5 times per week (includes jogging and walking); meeting the long jog criterion; and achieving the weight goal.  In addition to this, I will do the exercises the ortho-sports guy recommended last Thursday.  More on that later.

~ Now for the cool experiment ~

I finally got my Garmin Forerunner out of the box on Saturday, and naturally the first thing I wanted to do was a sleep experiment.  Back on Week 6 Day 2, I had claimed that my pulse was 48-52 when I awoke calmly (without external disturbance).  I got my tube of electrode gel (which came with the treadmill), and headed to bed at almost 1 AM.  (I haven't informed my Garmin of the correct time yet.)  I got the Garmin belt nice and tight, and it synced to the watch.  I manually took my pulse and got a 54, and this was in exact agreement with the Garmin.  It's not normally that low, but it was late and the house had been very quiet and unmelodramatic.  I set the watch in a fixed location within two feet of my body, and after thinking of a couple of alien invasion movies, I went to sleep.  (You can click this picture to make it bigger.)

You can easily see me toss and turn a bit for the first 20 minutes.  Then, with the exception of a few REM sleep segments, I'm below 50 bpm and I'm konked out.  There are also a significant number of measurements below 45 bpm.  What you are viewing here is the smoothed data.  In the unsmoothed data, there is a single measurement of 39 bpm.  But, since that was a one-time measurement, and the next lowest measured value was 42, I will believe that my lowest sleeping heart rate is 42 bpm.  Look what happened to me when the alarm goes off - it jumped all the way to seventy!

Why did I set an alarm on Sunday morning??  Science!!  Take that, low heart rate skeptics!!

To learn a bit more about the stages of sleep, you can check out this website.  If any of you guys have a similar device, you might want to try an experiment like this.  Heart behavior is so interesting - I've gotten it up to 185 on the treadmill, and now I've got it thudding along below 45 bpm.  That's a pretty good dynamic range.  And look at that REM segment at 3:20 into the measurement.  I will attribute that to Katherine Heigl!

1 comment:

  1. Fun experiment Dave. I will take your suggestion and see if I can fall a sleep with my HR strap tonight.