Friday, January 13, 2012

An answer about VO2

I have had a lot of people ask me about VO2. I have owned an analyzer before so know enough to answer most questions. What I try to do is boil things down to usable terms. Anyway, thought some of you might appreciate the answer I gave one of our athletes Rob Kelley is coaching:


Rob says a lot of things extremely spot on! If VO2 was the
end al, then we could save people a lot of time and not even hold races, just
hand out medals to the guys with the best numbers. Couple things to consider:
It would be interesting to see the raw data. If your numbers
were still climbing as you hit your VO2 that would indicate you did not
actually achieve max and you are peripherally limited right now. In other words
you don’t have the muscles yet to push as hard as you are genetically able too.
You probably know this feeling when the legs give out even though your
breathing could keep going? This is what I am talking about.
A lot comes down to motivation. To say you are at max, and
cannot do anymore but to all of a sudden find out you HAVE TO DO MORE to save
someone in your family, you would probably be a little more motivated and
actually go harder.
Most important is your thresholds RELATIVE to VO2 max. Imagine
for a min a paper cup with a hole in the bottom. The size of the cup is your
“Genetic potential” or your Max. if we introduce water into the cup at a rate
that the water completely drains, you are under your LT. as soon as we start to
pour water in faster than it can drain, we are over LT and you are on a time
table until the cup fills and you have to stop. The SIZE OF THE CUP is hard to
change. The SIZE OF THE HOLE is VERY TRAINABLE. So if you have someone with a
large cup and a small hole at the bottom, he will lose every time to a guy who
has a smaller cup but a huge hole.
I usually do not let my athletes go to max anymore in these
tests as they are not always that accurate, and it seems to only have a
downside. Unless they tell you that you have a superstar VO2, you will only
feel limited. BTW, 62 is not too bad at all. Especially for a cycling VO2.

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