Friday, September 26, 2014

Increasing my VO2 Max?

You're most likely familiar with the term "VO2 max," but just in case, here's a quick summary thanks to our friends at Wikipedia:

VO2 max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption as measured during incremental exercise, most typically on a motorized treadmill. VO2 max reflects the aerobic physical fitness of the individual, and is widely accepted as the single best measure of cardiovascular fitness and maximal aerobic power.

Scores can improve with training and decrease with age, though the degree of trainability also varies widely: conditioning may double VO2 max in some individuals, and will never improve it in others.

high on a cocktail of oxygen & life

In other words, having a high VO2 max is part genetics and part training, depending on the individual.

Here are some sample values for comparison:

  • The average untrained healthy female 27–31
  • The average untrained healthy male 35–40
  • Elite female runners: 77
  • Elite male runners: 85
  • Miguel Indurain (5x Tour de France winner): 88
  • Bjørn Dæhlie (Norwegian xc skiing legend): 96
  • Thoroughbred horses: 180
  • Iditarod sled dogs: 240

I have no clue what my VO2 max is, but my ability to breathe through my nose will hopefully be significantly better starting in a week or so. I underwent a surgery on Monday to correct a severely deviated septum. My face looks like a cross between a raccoon, the late Ultimate Warrior and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. My daughter is terrified of me, and my son affectionately refers to me as the "Monster of the Murk." 

I timed the operation with my offseason, since I usually take a few weeks to chill this time of year anyway. It's funny... countless people have said something like "will being able to breathe better help with your triathlons?"

I'm not sure it will help, but it can't hurt!

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