What is Vo2Max?
Some people have probably heard of this, some may have not. For those that haven’t I will give a quick explanation of what it is and why is so important.
Vo2Max, means the maximal capacity of the body to transport and use oxygen during dynamic exercise using large muscle groups. In other words, Vo2max is the maximum way to produce energy aerobically while you run, bike,swim, etc.Remember from my last blog (click here), that we can produce energy 2 ways: Aerobic and Anaerobic.
- The anaerobic system is the fastest way the body has to produce energy, the bad thing about it is that we cannot maintain this system during long periods. This system is used especially during short-intense exercise, like for example, a 100 meter race.
- The aerobic system produces energy at a lower pace but it can be maintained for much longer periods. For example, when we run a marathon most of the energy will come from that system.
Vo2Max is measured in milliliters of oxygen per minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/min/kg) and the highest Vo2max recorded was a Norwegian cross-country skier with 94ml*kg*min!!
Why is it important to have a high Vo2Max? Because all else being equal, a higher VO2 max is an advantage: it means that your body can take in more oxygen and deliver it to your muscles, enabling you to run faster for a given effort. So let us put an example: Imagine person A has a Vo2Max of 64ml*kg*min and person B has a Vo2Max of 52ml*kg*min and they are going to run a 8km race. The most likely thing that will happen is that person A will win because of the higher Vo2Max.
Now that we understood what Vo2Max is and how important it is in endurance events, I will talk about how we can improve it. But for that you will have to wait until my next blog 🙂