Why a VO2max test?

Recently I had a VO2max and Anaerobic Threshold Analysis at Froedtert Sports Medicine Institute. I had never had one done and always questioned in the back of my mind, “was I really training in the correct heart rate zones”. As a coach I try to express to athletes the benefits of training with a heart rate monitor, as your heart rate rarely lies on the effort you are putting out. With perceived exertion we can sometimes trick ourselves and under (or over) estimate our effort. Runner’s have a tendency to train in what coaches call a “gray” zone. To hard for an easy recovery day and not hard enough to produce the effort needed to improve lactate tolerance and/or increased VO2max. Personally, I use a HR monitor on easy days to guarantee that they are kept easy and during tempo runs to guarantee that I stay in a zone that is just above my lactate tolerance. HR monitors are crucial for endurance athletes used to make sure that you are not over extending yourself in the first parts of a lengthy run and/or race helping you to conserve energy stores for the latter segments. A VO2 / Anaerobic Threshold Analysis will provide you with the hard data, directly based on your fitness levels, and will aid you in determining those target heart rate zones to ensure successful training and racing. Visit Froedtert Sports Medicine for more information on all of their services.

(From Froedtert Sports Med. page)

Vo2 Max and Anaerobic Threshold Analysis
VO2 max and anaerobic threshold are predictors of your endurance. Both are very important if you are training for an endurance event or want to know your training parameters.

  • VO2 max (maximal aerobic power) — the maximum amount of oxygen that can be used by muscles in a given period of time. VO2 max is your maximal rate of oxygen consumption and a measure of your capacity to generate the energy required for endurance activities. To assess VO2 max, the athlete performs progressively intensive exercise, during which ventilation and oxygen concentration of inhaled and exhaled air are measured. VO2 max testing is performed on a bike or treadmill and a metabolic analysis is done. The results provide max levels of heart rate, VO2, VCO2 and anaerobic threshold.
  • Anaerobic threshold — the point at which lactate removal fails to keep up with the rate of lactate production as exercise intensity increases. At the anaerobic threshold, lactate starts to accumulate in the blood because it is produced faster than it can be removed (metabolized). The anaerobic threshold is a useful measure for determining exercise intensity for training and racing in endurance sports. The threshold can be greatly increased with training.

Contact Froedtert Sports Medicine for more information and pricing, (414) 805-7114.

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