Monday, December 3, 2012

INCREASING YOUR VO2 MAX
(A GRAPHIC EXPLANATION)

THIS POST GOES OUT TO RON HARRISON.

LET'S ASSUME THAT YOU ARE A TRIATHLETE ENTERING THE START OF THE SEASON. YOUR GOAL IS TO REACH THE PEAK OF YOUR CURRENT ATHLETIC ABILITY FOR YOUR "A" RACE BY THE YEAR'S END. TO DO THIS, YOU WILL WANT TO REACH A LEVEL OF FITNESS BY THAT RACE WHICH MAXIMIZES THE ABILITIES OF YOUR "GAS TANK".  THE GAS TANK CAN BE CONSIDERED AS YOUR LUNGS, MUSCLES AND GENERAL ATHLETIC ABILITY.



MANY PEOPLE HAVE COME TO USE WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS A V02 MAX TEST TO DETERMINE THE SIZE AND LIMITS OF THEIR GAS TANK. RESULTS FROM THIS TEST HELP DETERMINE AN ATHLETE'S LEVEL OF FITNESS AND ABILITY. BASED ON THIS TEST, HEART RATE ZONES ARE CREATED ON WHICH AN ATHLETE CAN GAUGE THEIR LEVEL OF EFFORT IN TRAINING AND RACING. AS A RESULT, YOU (AND/OR YOUR COACH) WILL KNOW IF YOU PUSHED IT OR IF YOU WERE SANDBAGGING!



A VO2 MAX TEST IS OFTEN CONDUCTED EITHER ON A STATIONARY BIKE OR A TREADMILL. AN OXYGEN MASK WITH A TUBE CONNECTING TO THE V02 TESTING MACHINE IS STRAPPED TO THE FACE OF THE ATHLETE AND THEN THE FUN BEGINS (AKA V02 MAX TEST). THE MASK CAN FEEL A BIT AWKWARD BUT IS NECESSARY TO GET CORRECT RESULTS.  TRIATTIC CAN PROVIDE VO2 TESTS ON BOTH THE BIKE AND/OR A TREADMILL.  VISIT http://www.triattic.com/services/ FOR MORE INFORMATION.


V02 CAN BE EXPLAINED SIMPLY AS OXYGEN CONSUMPTION. V02 MAX, THEREFORE, IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF OXYGEN YOUR BODY CAN CONSUME. ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR V02 MAX, YOU CAN ADJUST YOUR TRAINING TO PEAK TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES BY THE END OF THE SEASON, WHICH IS ALSO MANY PEOPLE'S "A" RACE. THE BELOW GRAPHIC IS USED TO SHOW HOW YOUR GAS TANK AND ITS FULLNESS INCREASES AND DECREASES OVER THE PERIOD OF RACE SEASON BASED ON LEVEL OF TRAINING.

IN THE OFFSEASON, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO LET YOUR BODY RECOVER. IT IS A TIME TO RELAX AND NOT PUSH YOUR BODY LIKE YOU DO IN THE TRIATHLON SEASON. IT GIVES YOU TIME TO DO SOME OF THE OTHER ACTIVITIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED OUT ON LIKE HIKING, CANOEING OR OTHER VARIOUS OUTDOOR SPORTS. AT THE SAME TIME, DOING SOME FORM OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY WILL KEEP YOUR BODY IN SHAPE. IN STAYING ACTIVE, YOUR GAS TANK WILL STAY AT THE SAME VOLUME AND COULD POSSIBLY SEE A SLIGHT INCREASE OVER THIS PERIOD. HOWEVER, THE GAS VOLUME WILL REDUCE OVER THIS TIME, WHICH IS NOT A BAD THING. IT IS SIMPLY YOUR BODY RECOVERING.



NOTE:  THE QUANTITIES AND PERCENTAGES GIVEN ABOVE ARE FOR EXPLANATION PURPOSES ONLY.  VOLUME SIZES AND INCREASES WILL VARY.