Training To Improve Your VO2 Max:
the maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise, used as a way of measuring a person’s individual aerobic capacity.
How can two people who train the same, weigh roughly the same, and are roughly the same age perform so differently?
Say Hello to VO2 Max
it’s not all bad news if you have a low score. There are a few things you can do to get better:
First, run more: Or ride or swim, or row. Whatever your sport is, do it more. As you become better at it via repetition, you will become more economical and that will allow you to run, ride, or swim at a faster pace for the same effort.
Second, try losing some weight: that goes against everything most people think about in gym terms, especially the guys, but VO2 is a score relative to body weight. Simply dropping a few kg will improve your ability to work. It will also help your economy. In fact, racing weight is so important that cyclist.
Third, even though VO2 is said to be largely genetic, it can still be influenced by training – by as much 15%. Training for VO2
VO2 sessions are typically done at high intensities and typically only last for a short period of time. My two favorites are 60:60s and 3min:1min x 3.
If you choose to do the 60:60 option, you are going to work for 60 seconds hard and 60 seconds easy recovery. If you’re running, this will be faster than 5km race pace and then recovering at a lower pace. Make sure to warm up for at least ten minutes with some faster strides if you’re running or do some big gear work if you’re riding to really fire up the body.
The 3:1 x 3 option is even worse. You’re going to work hard for 3 minutes and recover for 1, doing three rounds before a longer rest. A really solid beginner session using this format is as follows: • Warm up – 10 minutes easy
• 3:1 x 3
• Recover for 5-10 minutes easy running or riding
• 3:1 x 3
• Cool down for 10 minutes
As you become more advanced, extend out the length of time you work so that you do either 4 or 5 minute efforts, but keep the total rounds the same.