My family (after some hinting on my part) gave me a great gift for my birthday this year – a gift certificate for a full VO2 Max test. So three weeks ago I went to Peak Performance of Lynbrook, NY and went through the testing. I worked with a guy named Paul and he was extremely knowlegable and friendly. Paul put me through the testing to find out how my body utilized oxygen.
The testing used a system by New Leaf which tracked my oxygen and CO2 usage through a mask, and my heart rate. Paul doesn’t work with many marathoners, so he was excited to see what results my high mileage might yield.
For the V02 Max test, he strapped on the mask and an HR monitor, and put me on a treadmill. Over the course of 40 minutes, they slowly cranked up the speed and incline until I maxed out at 12 degrees and 10 miles/hour. This calculated the oxygen and CO2 levels at each heart rate. Here are the test results:
Max Heart Rate: 186 (I was WORKING!)
VO2 Max: 57. The VO2 Max represents your peak oxygen uptake, ie, your ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles. Paul said that my score of 57 is “very good” (see the chart), and that most people come in around 45. Overall, it looks like my body is utilizing oxygen well, but there may be some room to grow.
Anaerobic Threshold: 173 beats/minute. This is the point where your body starts needing to use glycogen instead of fat to process calories.
So what does all this mean? Well, as Paul explained it, the key is to be working to my maximum potential. That fact that there exists a gap between my Anaerobic Threshold (173) and my Max Heart Rate (186) means that I am not working to my full potential.
Great! So now what? Well, the follow week I went back to Peak Performance and Paul took me through a treadmill workout specifically designed for me with the goal of raising my Anaerobic Threshold. This workout is tough and left me very sweaty.
I am now in constant email contact with Paul and he sends me a new workout to do once a week for the 10 weeks. After 10 weeks, I strap the mask back on and get tested again. I am promised to see a dramatic improvement.
I am currently only 2 weeks into the 10 week program, but based on the intensity of these workouts… I am almost positive I will be seeing results. I will be sure to report back!
UPDATE: The results are in! Check them out here.