Vo2 Max Run Workouts: These Will Make You Strong or Kill You Trying

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This type of workout separates elites from everyone else

Are you tired of seeing that VO2Max number on your fitness tracker without really knowing what it means or how to use it? You’re not alone! VO2Max, or the maximum volume of oxygen that your body can deliver to your muscles per minute, is an important metric for runners, cyclists, and other endurance athletes. But understanding how it works, and how to use it in your training, can be a bit confusing. That’s where we come in!

What is VO2Max?

At its core, VO2Max is a measure of how efficiently your body can use oxygen to produce energy during exercise. The more oxygen your muscles can use, the more energy they can produce. And the more energy they can produce, the faster and longer you can run. Your VO2Max is expressed as a number that represents the maximum amount of oxygen your body can deliver to your muscles per minute, relative to your body weight.

How to Improve Your VO2Max

While VO2Max is largely determined by genetics, there are ways to improve it through training. VO2Max workouts involve running at a pace that is carrying the maximum amount of oxygen to your muscles per minute that you can handle. This is typically around your 5k pace. VO2Max workouts can be interval-based, with three to five-minute intervals at your 5k pace or slightly faster. The rest period in between the intervals is important to help you recover and avoid building up too much lactate. VO2Max workouts are great for developing your aerobic engine, building your heart size and stroke volume, and improving your running economy.

The Benefits of VO2Max Training

Improving your VO2Max can lead to faster race times, better endurance, and overall improved health. A high VO2Max score is also associated with better longevity as you age. So, it’s definitely worth incorporating VO2Max workouts into your training routine.

VO2Max vs. Maximum Aerobic Capacity

It’s important to note that VO2Max is different from your maximum aerobic capacity, or the pace at which your body can use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Maximum aerobic capacity is typically slower than your VO2Max pace. The Maffetone Method, for example, focuses on developing your aerobic system by working at the maximum limit of your fat-burning ability. This is a slower pace that is different from VO2Max workouts.

How to Incorporate VO2Max Workouts

VO2Max workouts can be challenging, but they’re also rewarding. It’s important to remember that VO2Max training is just one part of a well-rounded training plan. Incorporating a mix of high-intensity VO2Max workouts and lower-intensity aerobic training can help you build a strong aerobic engine and improve your overall running performance. So, don’t be afraid to sprinkle in a few VO2Max workouts each week and see how they can help you run faster and stronger!

Remember, VO2Max is just one metric to measure your running progress. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers, and enjoy the journey of improving your fitness and achieving your running goals.

What You’ll Learn Because I Sure as Hell Learned a Lot

03:18 VO2 Max explained

03:52 The difference between Vo2max workouts, Vo2max and Vo2

07:39 A great car analogy of aerobic vs anaerobic energy systems – mike has so many

15:01 Fat-burning and VO2 Max.

15:15 Why the aerobic engine is so damn important

22:38 Discipline in VO2 Max training.

26:24 Measuring VO2 with heart rate.

29:33 VO2 max and running performance.

32:19 What to do with all of this

33:59 Time as a valuable resource.

And much more

Notable Quotables

  • “Garmin estimation of vo2max is a nice figure to look at and chat with your friends.Feeling, resting heart rate and lower hr on similar runs is better than your watch.”
  • “Vo2 max is the max amount of oxygen that the body can deliver to the muscles. in a minute, expressed in litres relative to your body weight”
  • “You don’t need to do the high end work, you need to get used to running at race pace to run a fast race. you can’t run slow all the time and expect to run fast at a race
  • “Jakeb Ingrebikstein never goes hard than 87% in a workout, and saves it for the race. Discipline.”



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This episode is brought to you by NRG – Coaching which is Mike Trees’ coaching service. Mike coaches beginners to pros and all levels in between.

No one is too fast and no one too slow. They just want a desire to learn and improve.

They focus on 1,500m to marathon running and triathlon training.

NRG Coaching is constantly overbooked, so Instagram and this new podcast venture gives Mike and the rest of his NRG coaching team a way to reach out to more people.

Contact mike and his team NRG-COACHING.com for more info

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