%HRmax vs %VO2max

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  • #7652

    There is a new gadget out there that allows portable measurement of VO2
    while training. Apart from being very expensive and probably very awkward
    to train with I am wondering if these sort of gadgets have place in daily

    A couple of questions:
    1. Is there an advantage to using % of VO2max for training intensity
    over HR?

    In particular, daily HRmax variations can be pretty big and if you
    add environmental conditions you can be off by 20 beats and therefore
    do something completely different in training than intended.

    2. Does % VO2 max suffer from similar or some other limitations?

    3. Is the pace (or speed) always correlated with % VO2max in the same way?
    Namely, if you run 10km in 35 minutes (3:30 / km) and it corresponds to 90% of VO2 max,
    how often would you have to “recalibrate”? Assuming that with more training you would
    be able to run at the same speed with a lower % of VO2max.

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #7667

    XC Skier:

    I think Cosmed and others have a portable VO2 tester available for a few years now. Still very expensive for individual use and not necessary for controlling training. As you note the metabolic response to exercise can vary significantly from day to day. This will be reflected in HR and in O2 uptake. Got tired legs one day? HR will be low and perceived effort high. On those days you’d see lower O2 uptake numbers. The O2 uptake is a product of how much power the muscles can produce and if the muscles are tired there won’t be much demand on the heart (low HR) and likewise the O2 uptake will be lower than on a day when you are feeling fresh. There is a correlation between HR and VO2. It is linear in the aerobic zones (1, 2 and into 3). It becomes non-linear around the anaerobic threshold and increasingly so in Z4-5 where HR doesn’t do a good job of reflecting effort. At these intensities the anaerobic system is contributing considerable energy to the mix and it does not O2 so is independent of HR.

    But this is getting way, way down in the weeds for the control of daily training. Since the relationship of your metabolism to HR or VO2 changes depending on recovery state the test you took last week or last month only gave a snap shot on that day. So regardless how you tested, in a lab running or outside skiing with a Cosmed you have only rough guidelines to control intensity TODAY. For our sports HR works reasonably well for everyone from duffers to World Champions. You just can’t go parsing the metabolism to finely. Thats why these 7 zones systems are false precision. Really 3 zones works quite well.


    xcskier on #7693

    So using a VO2 gadget to measure VO2 biomarker has the same
    limitations as HR. Just like HRmax is not the same every day
    VO2max isn’t either. So, you would have to know your daily
    VO2max (and for particular sport) which is just not practical.

    Your insights make me wonder if objective measure of intensity
    (power, pace, speed, etc.) is then any better or more appropriate.
    You run into the same problem with pace/power. If you are tired
    on some day, and you train with some pace/power, you may be going
    too hard (going too easy won’t do any damage, so you can live with that)
    and not doing the intended.

    mavppe on #13456

    I should add I use a pre workout and am almost certain this clouds the result. Its just so… boring sometimes. ~Mark

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