Just a curious guy

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  • #9089
    Vertical Runner

    I recently bought the TFTNA ebook and I’ve been devouring all the information. Thank you!

    I would like to ask a few questions that I’ve been thinking about.

    -I was watching the XC men’s 50km mass start at the Winter Olympics on YouTube a few days ago where Iivo Niskanen won ahead of Bolshunov in 2:08:22. I was wondering at what percentage of max HR do these athletes do such a race and for what percentage of the race, approximately, do they rely mainly of fat as fuel? I guess they must have a very high aerobic threshold, so they must use fat up to a very high % of max HR?

    I’ve been reading about maxVo2. I now understand that it is not a great predictor of performance as well as the reasons for such. I’ve also read some similar questions on the forum, however, I’d still like to ask:
    -I’m 21 years old, I’ve been training for 2 years and did a maxVo2 test a month ago. I got 70ml/kg/min. I personally think it’s a good value, but being that maxVo2 is a “first wave response”, is it likely that mine has already reached a plateau or is there still room for improvement?
    -Lastly, on my maxVo2 test a flat protocol was used. The treadmill was set at 2% and the speed increased every 3 minutes. For someone whose training is dedicated to vertical mountain races, wouldn’t a test with incremental increases in grade better alow my body to “express” its maximum rate of oxygen consumption as not only would it recruit more muscles but it would also be doing it the way they are specifically trained to?

    Thank you very much for your book and time!

  • Participant
    lionfish90 on #9098

    I recently watched this talk by Scott Johnston posted on Facebook here:

    [Direct link not working. Try this one after removing the spaces:
    https :// http://www.facebook.com/ uphillathlete/ videos/ 1207164636050638/

    It addresses several of your questions. Unfortunately, I can’t remember exactly where in the talk they occur, but you might skip through until you see graphs showing lactate curves and also X-crossing blue and red curves of fat vs. carb utilization in the latter half.

    Nice VO2max! I’m jealous.

    Anonymous on #9103

    Your maxVO is quite good and this is a good indicator of high endurance potential. Please read this post I did just a couple of days ago as it might explain a few things.

    Test Results

    The best predictor of endurance performance is the speed at lactate threshold (anaerobic threshold).

    Don’t worry that your test wasn’t completely sport specific unless you have money to burn on another test. You might be hard pressed to find a lab that can administer a steep uphill test anyway. Ask yourself what another test will tell you regardless of the efficacy of the test. Why do you want to know your maxVO2 and how will it inform your training decisions?

    The test like you did is not a performance test it is a measure of a metabolic limit. Athletes are or at least should be most interested in improving performance not improving a lab test.

    I’d suggest using a field performance test to determine you maxim uphill sustainable effort. Find a steep hill and perform our AnT test on it: https://uphillathlete.com/diy-anaerobic-test/

    This will give yo some immediately actionable training information. Did the lab test identify your aerobic threshold? If it was a max test then this is doubtful but that’s another super important data point to use for training decisions. I once coached a top XC skier with a max VO2 of 90ml/kg/min who was aerobically deficient (AeT HR=135, Ant HR=165). So your impressive maxVO2 does not tell the whole story.

    AS for the Oly 50km XC race. XC skiing is done at highly variable intensities because of the undulating terrain. On the uphills skiers can exceed maxVO2 intensity (not the maxVO2 itself but the HR and power output). They accumulate what is called an oxygen debt that gets repaid as they glide down the back of the hill. This allows the XC ski events to be competed at a higher average intensity than say a 50km running race where the runners have to still work hard on the down hills. They are probably working at 90% of maxHR for most of the race. But the very high AeT (see below) allows them to preserve glycogen.

    This has several consequences for skier: maxVO2 tends to correlate better with results than in running. Rapid recovery (lactate removal) on the down hills requires a very high AeT and AnT. I have trained a WC skiers with an AnT at 93% of max HR and AeT HR at 88% of max. This skier had WC podium finishes despite never testing better than 65ml/kg/min on maxVO2 test. The previously mentioned skier with 90 maxVO2 was not competitive on the WC circuit with best finishes in the 30s. I have other examples of rather XC skiers with quite mundane maxVO2 who I have trained who ranked in the top 12 in the overall World rankings. As a skier myself with a maxVO2 of 80 I was never better than a mid 40s skier on the WC. This is why I say to not obsess over this one number.

    Vertical Runner on #9140

    Thank you very much Scott and Lionfish90!
    I will do the field performance test.

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