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3 Reasons WHY Getting a VO2 Max Test is a Great Investment in your Endurance Training

Odds are that if you are an endurance athlete that you have read, or at least heard about VO2 Max at some point. Most athletes talk about it doing VO2 Max intervals when chatting with their friends at a local group ride, or group training run. The big challenge is how do you know what your VO2 Max is and how to use intervals if you do not actually know when your body has reached VO2 Max? We will address this over the next several points so you get an understanding of this important metric, as well as a special offer on a VO2 Max test to help you gain more insight into how to train and achieve greater performance for yourself.

What is VO2 Max? VO2 Max is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense, or maximal exercise. The more oxygen you can take in to the lungs and carry that through your body through the bloodstream to working muscles then your muscles will predominately remain in an aerobic glycolysis pathway for energy production during exercise. This is important for the endurance athlete because the longer and faster you can go using this pathway the better your performance can be. Now you have a very basic understanding so let's dive further into why knowing what your VO2 Max is important for any endurance athlete.

  1. Designing more effective training zones - When a test is complete, whether the test is conducted while running or riding a bicycle, you can apply training zones that can be more effective than just heart rate or power through a 20, 30 or 60 minute threshold test. The data gained from a VO2 Max test when combined with a running device such as a Stryd power meter, or through a direct force power meter on the bike can help you find your power and heart rate zones based on your unique physiology. No more guessing when you have the data to know when your body is shifting from an aerobic pathway to the anaerobic pathway for energy production during exercise.

  2. Finding weaknesses in your fitness - Many athletes just assume that the only thing you can get from a VO2 Max test is to see how much oxygen you can utilize. The truth is that you can find out more information about where you are currently at in your fitness and maybe you have a strong aerobic base, but you have a rapid shift in lactate production at a specific velocity or power output that forces you to slow down. These insights gained can help you shift what workouts you need to do in your training and help you make improvements in key weak spots that can make the difference in you reaching your fitness goals for an event.

  3. Finding out how good your running or riding economy - Athletes may have a superior VO2 Max, but they may not be able to translate that into speed on a bike or while running. Knowing your VO2 Max in relation to how effective you are at using the oxygen your body consumes is a huge part of reaching athletic potential. What if you find that you during a certain effort that your cadence changes while riding up a steep grade and your pedal stroke becomes sloppier causing your muscles to fatigue, or a runner who has a longer stride at maximal sustainable effort that starts to slow them down and fatigue the legs more? You can improve both items and find the balance between genetic potential and improved economy to maximize your athletic potential.

These are just a few reasons why VO2 Max is important and can play a role. There are many other benefits and reasons for getting tested and combining this with other training tools that many endurance athletes already have access to. Thankfully, we live in a time where technology has provided new tools for testing and we are proud to offer athletes of all types the ability to get tested to help unlock their potential. You can book a test with us, and we will provide anyone who books a test by 10/31 with 15% off the total costs of the test. Message us at to take advantage of this offer!

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