Senior Lecturer, Gary Brickley, sent me a report about some fitness testing we did at Brighton Uni before we left the UK. Hannah studied her Exercise Science degree here! The report is attached below. Perhaps I'll have the opportunity to do the test again upon completion of the run home from Rome (if we get there!!) and compare the results. My heart rate is definitely lower when running now - but then my legs are infinitely more painful too!
PHYSIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF JOHN DWYER
We carried out an incremental test to determine your lactate threshold and energy cost of running prior to your huge Rome to London marathon challenge. All the tests were carried out on the Woodway treadmill in the research lab set at 0.8% which is a true 1% gradient. This mimics outdoor conditions. The graph gives a good indication of the heart rate and blood lactate response at the different speeds. We started at 9km/h and progressed to 15km/h at 3 minute intervals.
Your physiology prior to this challenge seems very well conditioned and you should be able to sustain 13-14km/h if aiming for a faster marathon- which is a sub 3.15h. Of course this depends on how you would pace the marathon, but the lactate threshold around 13km/h suggest you are very well conditioned.
We also measured the expired air to determine the oxygen cost and the calorific cost of running. At 10km/h this equates to 12kcal/min rising to 15kcal/min if you were to run at 12km/h. Bearing in mind the number of challenges you are attempting, a 10km/h seems more feasible. This works out as around 3060kcal during your marathon run period of just over 4 hours. You may well have a problem trying to get the calories in during your challenge.
Your run is about being very efficient and the data from our testing suggests you are very good at burning fats below 11km/h so if you stay at this intensity you should not have major problems with glycogen depletion provided you refuel after each day.
Good luck with the challenge and keep me posted.