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Running and V02 max

METALforCHRISTMETALforCHRIST Member, Premium Posts: 65 Member Member, Premium Posts: 65 Member
Hello everyone! I'm a overweight and new runner. Specifically I have taken to trail running and am currently in the middle of doing c25k. My garmin constantly tells me after my sessions that my v02 max is low.

I was wondering if there is a specific breathing technique for running? Kind of like for lifting weights? Also are there any accessory exercises that I can do that might help build up my v02?

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 30,404 Member Member Posts: 30,404 Member
    Yeah, I agree with fuzzy...it will naturally improve with your general fitness and weight loss.

    Slow down and then go a little slower than that.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Member Posts: 2,801 Member Member Posts: 2,801 Member
    Ignore the watch for now. Run at a slow easy pace. As you develop your endurance, you'll be able to run farther. With more miles, your running will become more efficient, your breathing will become easier and your VO2max will improve, but it takes time.
  • LietchiLietchi Member Posts: 1,150 Member Member Posts: 1,150 Member
    Aside from the good advice already given, I'd also like to say that you need to take these values with a grain of salt.
    I consistently get higher VO2max values when hiking on flat terrain versus in the mountains, even just with a few days in between the hikes. Since you mention trail running, it might be something to take into consideration.
  • robertw486robertw486 Member, Greeter, Premium Posts: 2,135 Member Member, Greeter, Premium Posts: 2,135 Member
    All good advice above. And keep in mind that beyond the elevation, weather, wind, and any other variables that your device may or may not track, people improved their cardio base and VO2max long before we had such devices. Just keep doing cardio and use the data only when comparing apples to apples, otherwise you may think you have stalled when you are still making progress.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 9,867 Member Member Posts: 9,867 Member
    VO2max = maximum volume of oxygen you can deliver through your body, divided by your weight. So a very effective way to improve this score is to lose weight. 🙂
  • dewd2dewd2 Member Posts: 2,404 Member Member Posts: 2,404 Member
    VO2max is a good number to know if you want to use it for training. But knowing it just to know it doesn't mean much (especially on the trails). While most Garmin's do a decent job of estimating it, you need to be doing specific training to increase it - speed sessions. As a new runner you should avoid speed work until you have run for many months (or more). And, again, on the trails, you won't get an accurate number.

    My suggestion is to ignore it. Stick to your program and have fun on the trail. Good luck.
  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 17,929 Member Member Posts: 17,929 Member
    Not sure if your device gives you the HRrecovery figure after 1-2 min also.

    View the VO2max comment like that - it's a figure - you aren't going to specifically change it outside just doing the exercise.
  • westrich20940westrich20940 Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    I'd take that vo2max estimate with a huuuge grain of salt. Just keep doing your running (at a pace that you can keep up with it and be able to have enough air to talk) and your cardio/respiratory systems will get better fairly quickly.

    When I started out as a runner and was overweight I remember using a HRM and my heart rate would get up to 180 if I jogged for like 30seconds to a minute.....that was one of the first things I noticed getting better was my heart rate didn't sky-rocket so quickly as I kept up the running routine.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,840 Member Member Posts: 1,840 Member
    Aside from your weight, VO2 Max tests require you to work hard. I ran for five or six years. Mechanically, my right knee is garbage, though I loved running trails. I couldn't do a VO2 Max test running, even when I got in shape, that would have showed well. When I started running, I was also 80 lbs overweight.

    However, I started doing competitive indoor rowing and, it turns out, I was much more competitive at biking and rowing. My V02 Max looks good when you look at my older rowing times. It's also a factor of how efficient you are at different sports/aerobic activities. I've recently been rehabbing my back, so my current rowing times are down, but I've been working a lot on an Assault Bike and my VO2 max on that looks great (using Watts to VO2 Max conversion estimate formulas, it's roughly 37 (and I'm packing on around 8 extra lbs right now). I'll be 56 in a few weeks).

    What I'm saying is your Vo2 max could also be limited with how good of a mechanical runner, biker or rower you are as well. Most new runners aren't great mechanically. I know I never was, except in my youth.
    edited September 14
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Member Posts: 9,033 Member Member Posts: 9,033 Member
    Chances are that as a new runner your VO2 max is on the lower end of the scale (your watch also may be estimating on the low side until you build up some history with it) VO2 max is one of those things that gradually improves over time as your aerobic fitness improves. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 9,867 Member Member Posts: 9,867 Member
    If you're a runner, amputating your arms will improve your VO2max, do the math.

    (But cutting your arms off probably won't improve your health or enjoyment of life.)
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 168 Member Member Posts: 168 Member
    Dont worry about it, but keep track of it. That is a definite metric of improvement as time goes on! You'll want to look back and see the progress.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,840 Member Member Posts: 1,840 Member
    Sorry guys, didn't mean to make this thread and disappear lol. I appreciate everyone's advice! I'll just ignore the V02 max for now and focus on continuing to run.

    Makes sense that it is connected to overall fitness, currently at 380 but started at over 420!! In 4 weeks I'm supposedly going to be able to do a 5k so its probably better I focus on endurance anyway.

    That's super impressive! Walk/run if you have to. Congrats on your weight loss so far!!!!
  • ritzvinritzvin Member, Premium Posts: 2,738 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,738 Member
    Ditto on ignoring the VO2 estimate.

    Also to add: Garmin also doesn't know what the ground you are running on is like. Speeds are going to be slower on trail versus road for the same effort, so expect VO2 max estimates by a tracking watch to be much, much lower.
  • fuzzylop_fuzzylop_ Member, Premium Posts: 96 Member Member, Premium Posts: 96 Member
    ritzvin wrote: »
    Ditto on ignoring the VO2 estimate.

    Also to add: Garmin also doesn't know what the ground you are running on is like. Speeds are going to be slower on trail versus road for the same effort, so expect VO2 max estimates by a tracking watch to be much, much lower.

    To the extent that different surfaces impact hr and hrv, they will be reflected in the vo2max estimate. I don't recall speed being an input in the firstbeat algorithm.
  • ritzvinritzvin Member, Premium Posts: 2,738 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,738 Member
    They do use an estimate of power output in their calculations (for instance, if you want a VO2 estimate for cycling, it requires that you have a power meter hooked up. If running, it requires either GPS or a footpod). An activity with only heartrate data points wouldn't yield an estimate.

    Within their algorithm, they compare your heart rate versus speed data to extrapolate out a maximum speed at maximum heart rate (they assume a linear relationship according to the white pages)(cycling uses straight power from a power meter rather than speed). (Also, per Garmin, it supposedly throws out sections of 'garbage data' that don't match that relationship (I suspect much of trail running will have wild un-related variation in (even grade-adjusted) speed versus heartrate as one is dodging/jumping/etc obstacles. and the majority will be low versus heartrate.)
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 9,867 Member Member Posts: 9,867 Member
    fuzzylop_ wrote: »
    ritzvin wrote: »
    Ditto on ignoring the VO2 estimate.

    Also to add: Garmin also doesn't know what the ground you are running on is like. Speeds are going to be slower on trail versus road for the same effort, so expect VO2 max estimates by a tracking watch to be much, much lower.

    To the extent that different surfaces impact hr and hrv, they will be reflected in the vo2max estimate. I don't recall speed being an input in the firstbeat algorithm.

    Garmin doesn't calculate VO2 for trail runs because they can't do that reliably.
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