Sunday, February 15, 2009

Metabolic Exercise Assessment - VO2 Max

I visited Krista Schultz of Total Performance for a VO2 Max Test. The main goal of the test was to determine the theshold the body became anaerobic as well at determining efficiency at burning fats vs carbohydrates, information I could use when training/racing. We performed a treadmill test, lasting about 14 minutes, working the speed up gradually then increasing the incline until yelling mercy and jumping off.

By doing a hard effort like a 8K or 10K, most of us can figure out our anaerobic threshold (AT) since most experienced runner can run slightly under anaerobic threshold for 30 minutes. And the test results were consistent w/ Saturday's GW race: Threshold based on test: 183bpm, average heart rate for miles 2-6 of the race: 182bpm (the first mile average is lower). With this piece of information, training zones can be established:

Zone 1 Recovery < 85% : 0-155 bpm
Zone 2 Extensive Endurance 85% - 91% : 156 - 165
Zone 3 Intensive Endurance 92% - 95%: 166 - 174
Zone 4 Tempo/Subthreshold 96% - 99%: 175 - 182
Zone 5a Superthreshold 100% - 102%: 183 - 186
Zone 5b Anaerobic Endurance 103% - 106%: 187-189
Zone 5c Power 107% - Max Heart Rate: 190+

So run a flat 8K or 10K (whatever is closer to 30 min effort), take average heart rate minus the first mile, multiply by the percentages above. Voila, there you have your zones. In order to improve your Anaerobic Threshold, you need to work just above AT. No shortcuts. That's why we get so much benefit from the track workouts we do, most of these intervals are done above AT. Work = success.

As for VO2 max which is defined as "the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight" - after yelling mercy the machine read 72.2 ml/kg/min. How does this compare to others:

The main thing I learned is what it really means to run at EZ recovery pace ;)

1 comment:

Geir said...

FYI: seven of these are from Norway. And Espen Bjerke is born in 1980! That said, it might say more about how Norway have focused on endurance training over the years… (But also who does these tests regularly as documentation of progress. Clearly there are others out there with just as high VO2maks)

All the best from Geir, who are getting back slow but secure from Plantar F.