Endurance coach and author, Joe Friel, plans to visit the Greater Portland, ME area next week. Friel will present, "Winter Base Training for the Endurance Athlete" at the OA Performance Center to a group of triathletes and endurance athletes. During the course of the workshop, volunteer athletes will be asked to participate in a variety of physiological performance tests offered at the OA Performance Center. Friel will evaluate and share the results with the audience, offering an explanation of the meaning and the implications to the endurance athlete.
My personal interest is in the V02 max test. The V02 max test determines an athlete's maximal oxygen uptake and is a primary indicator of endurance performance. V02 max can only be determined in a controlled laboratory setting such as the one used at the OA Performance Center. The test involves placing a mask over the athlete's mouth and nose to measure the amount of oxygen being consumed. After an adequate warm-up on the bike, the athlete is asked (forced) to work at ever high levels of output to determine the maximal amount of aerobic work the athlete can perform before exploding in a bath of lactate.
VO2 max is expressed either as an absolute rate in liters of oxygen per minute (l/min) or as a relative rate in millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute (ml/kg/min). While V02 max can be "trained," V02max is truly a gift (or curse) provided by your parents. So, once optimized through endurance training, V02max is a really a genetic test to determine what kind of endurance athlete you can be based upon your biological make-up. After the test, you can thank or blame your parents for the result.