If you are into athletic training and endurance sports, you probably have heard about VO2 max. For the uninitiated, this expression is a measurement, indicating the maximum amount of oxygenic that an athlete can actually utilize during very intense and demanding exercise.
V02 Max is measured in millimeters of oxygen per minute, per kilogram of body weight. This measurement is usually associated with an athlete’s ability to endure through sustained physical activity or exercise. Essentially, the VO2 Max limit measure how much oxygen-rich blood your heart can distribute to your body, in order to maximize muscle efficiency and energy. It is important to understand that oxygen is absolutely vital to runners, particularly when it comes to running really fast.
If your body is able to store enough oxygen, you will be able to run at a certain speed and sustain the effort for a certain amount of time. On the other hand, keeping up the pace might not be as easy when yo are running out of breath. Have you ever experience the feeling of slowing down to catch a breath after running for some time at a sustained pace? Perhaps, that was an indication you reached (or were about to reach) your VO2 Max peak.
An increased VO2 Max, means that the the athlete will be able to last longer in an endurance activity. Therefore, increasing the VO2 MAX limit is highly desirable. There are many ways to train in order to expand endurance.
It is possible to accurately measure VO2 Max by analyzing an athlete’s physical effort, and measuring its outcome. This is often done in cycles or interval, at which the intensity of the work out is progressively and steadily increased.
Runners are very accustomed to run shorter intervals (800 – 1000m) trying to run at the fastest speed they can sustain, without ever slowing down or changing pace. Progressively, they would increase the time of the intervals and progressively build up their endurance limit.
There are also many other methods to measure the VO2 Max, including tests considered safer for people whose health might be put at risk by progressively more demanding physical efforts. Another main method of testing the VO2 max is known as “Firstbeat Method”, which is actually extremely popular in consumers sports technology. This particular method essentially calculates averages between the rate of oxygen consumption and the speed of the athlete, which are correlated to one another (when the speed increases, the oxygen consumption also increases)