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Triathlete urges long, slow runs

Eileen JoycePersonal trainer and triathlete Scott McIntosh (left) prepares to test lactic acid levels in Dominique Del Chiaro's blood as she rides a stationary bike at Courthouse Athletic Club in Grass Valley.
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Scott C. McIntosh sometimes recommends that people do LSD.

Long, slow distance, that is – jogging slowly for a long distance. That’s a good way for runners to train and build up their aerobic capacity.

That’s something McIntosh deals with in his business as medical exercise specialist, which he operates out of the Courthouse Athletic Club in Grass Valley’s Pine Creek shopping center.



Serious athletes and out-of-shape people alike come to McIntosh to have their fitness tested.

His specialty is figuring out a person’s ideal exercise heart rate.




In most cases, people train too hard, McIntosh said. Usually, a runner “needs to run longer runs … slower.”

To gauge clients’ ideal heart rates, McIntosh has them ride a stationary bicycle while blowing into a device that measures how much oxygen they’re using and how much carbon dioxide they’re exhaling.

Charts are available to recommend the best exercise heart rate based on a person’s age, but “that’s quite inaccurate in most cases,” McIntosh said.

Once McIntosh tells a client their ideal exercise heart rate, then the client can effectively use a heart rate monitor when training. The monitor consists of a band you wrap around your chest that sends a signal to a wrist watch-like monitor that shows your heart rate. Monitors only cost about $50, nowadays, McIntosh said.

“It’s the best tool you can have,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh participates in triathlons and is in such good shape that his resting heart rate is only about 45 beats per minute.

For 25 years he was a practicing veterinarian specializing in horses, but “my hobby had always been fitness;” so, he sold his veterinary practice in 2000 with the intention of starting his exercise business.

One customer was local runner Michelle Falvey, who was unsure how to use heart rate training, because it wasn’t used when she ran track in college 15 years ago.

After meeting with McIntosh, Falvey won a couple local triathlons.

Another customer was 46-year-old runner Steve Bond, who’s currently sidelined with knee problems but plans to incorporate what he learned from McIntosh once he gets back on his feet.

“There’s certain ranges you’re supposed to train in. I plan on using the knowledge he gave me and seeing if it does work,” Bond said.

McIntosh charges $110 to determine a person’s ideal heart rate.

He does other testing, too. For $20, he can determine a person’s lean body mass.

Want to be tested?

For more information about Scott McIntosh1s business, Metabolic Assessment and Prescription, call him at 941-4393, pick up a brochure at one of the Court House athletic clubs, or check his web site: http://www.metabolicassessmentprescription.com


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