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How VO2Max Testing Helps Know Your Race Pace




Understanding your race pace


Another benefit of VO2Max/Lactate testing is understanding the intensity (power/pace/heart rate) for your event and where it is on the endurance spectrum.

The endurance spectrum is a continuum of distance over intensity using a Three Zone Training Model.


How is intensity spectrum measured?


During an incremental VO2Max test we are looking for two thresholds, which act as boundaries between the three training zones:


1. Zone 1 = Moderate domain

>> Aerobic threshold <<

2. Zone 2 = Heavy domain

>> Anaerobic threshold <<

3. Zone 3 = Severe domain


The first threshold is known as the A


erobic Threshold (AeT)/ventilatory threshold 1(VT1) or lactate threshold 1(LT1), confusing I know ha! Exercise performed below this point is known as moderate intensity exercise (Zone 1 = Moderate domain).


Exercise above this point is known as heavy intensity exercise ( Zone 2 = Heavy domain). The upper limit of this heavy exercise domain is known as the Anaerobic Threshold (AnT), ventilatory threshold (VT2) or lactate threshold (LT2). This marks the point where the rate of lactate production equals the rate of lactate clearance. As you cross this point you will exponentially accumulate lactate, which (the associated hydrogen ions) will slow you down and eventually force you to stop.


Exercise beyond the second threshold is known as the severe domain = Zone 3.







Where does your sport fit?


Low intensity and long duration sports like ultra distance running are on the far left of the spectrum in zone 1. Events like Ironman would typically fall around your aerobic threshold or LT1. As you progress further to the right, a 10k would be performed at around your anaerobic threshold, whereas shorter distances like middle distance running will take place in the severe domain, or near to your VO2Max.


Why does it matter?


By understanding where you event falls on the endurance spectrum, you can plan effectively to improve your performance. If you’re a middle distance runner, we know that your VO2Max is on the most important metrics to work on. By measuring your current VO2Max and the pace/heart rate at this point, enables you to put specific training sessions together based on your unique physiology.


Likewise, if you’re a long distance triathlete (Ironman) then you’ll need to develop the pace at or around your aerobic threshold. From testing we can measure where this threshold is

This is why metabolic testing or VO2Max testing can be so beneficial. As well as understanding where you need to be, what race pace/power you need to sustain, you can also measure how you stack up in other areas of performance. Based off this you can formulate a plan specific to your strengths, weaknesses, and your physiology.

The idea with testing is to simply target the best possible way to help with performance (endurance) and body composition 🏃‍♀️ 💪


If we know what your body is doing now and where you need to be to reach your goals, bridging that gap becomes a lot easier!


1. See where you are now

2. Compare to where you need to be

3. Develop a plan to move the right levers

4. Retest and adjust


If you’re interested in seeing how knowing your physiology can help with your results, we have two different packages to suit your needs:

For body composition > www.boxnutrition.co.uk/ignite




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