How to get your VO2 max up to an excellent rating.

sijomial
sijomial Posts: 19,637 Member
Pass your 60th birthday and Garmin's VO2 max estimate bumps you up a category as I'm now in an older age bracket.

z0uwtfj912wb.jpg


PS - cycling a lot also helps!
:smiley:
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Replies

  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,148 Member
    edited February 2020
    LOL, mine reset when I started using my new Fenix 5.......with my old 920xt I was (and I take this with a grain of salt) in the top 10% of my AG now my fitness age is several years older than my chronological age. At least my bike VO2 max is back up to 36 and rising, apparently it's take a few more runs to get the running one back up!

    I do like, however, some of the other insights....

    4l4019lcazj8.png

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,045 Member
    As VO2max is calculated based on body weight, losing weight is also a great way to improve the number, I've noticed.

    9avyivobhd84.png

    I just reached 39 today (I started at 36 a month ago) but considering I still have 30lbs to lose, I should be a top athlete by the end of my weight loss :sunglasses:
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,637 Member
    LOL, mine reset when I started using my new Fenix 5.......with my old 920xt I was (and I take this with a grain of salt) in the top 10% of my AG now my fitness age is several years older than my chronological age. At least my bike VO2 max is back up to 36 and rising, apparently it's take a few more runs to get the running one back up!

    I do like, however, some of the other insights....

    Congrats on running rings round your demographic.

    My apparent average cycling speed is ridiculously high at the moment as awful weather is limiting me to indoor cycling and the mph estimates are courtesy of Hans Christian Anderson.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,637 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    As VO2max is calculated based on body weight, losing weight is also a great way to improve the number, I've noticed.


    I just reached 39 today (I started at 36 a month ago) but considering I still have 30lbs to lose, I should be a top athlete by the end of my weight loss :sunglasses:

    Nice improvement.
    I got stuck aiming for 3 watts per kilo and my training progress plateaued just short - realised that losing weight was going to be more effective and quicker. Not as much fun though.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,103 Member
    I get a pretty good one as well from my Garmin (45ml/kg/min). The number is derived from a few formulas that Garmin applies to your activities, particularly running. It is not accurate. When I was training for a half-marathon, my number went down because I was training at a lower pace on longer runs, for example.
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,847 Member
    And weather/temperature will greatly affect performance (at least outside). Mine peaks in the glorious, breathable fall and plummets in winter/summer.
  • Djproulx
    Djproulx Posts: 2,792 Member

    Good stuff, fun to see. I only use Garmin Connect to feed data into Training Peaks, so I'm not too familiar with the tools.

    Having said that, the Power Curve chart was kind of cool to look at. It showed a recent 4 week interval in the foreground with "best ever" power output per unit of time in the background. The chart sort of confirms that while I'm starting to regain cycling fitness, there is a significant gap in my ability to hold power output today versus in mid 2018 during my last training build. That means more trips to the pain cave are in order.

    And regarding VO2/Cycling VO2, my category ratings are no consolation as I"m suffering through a threshold session. ;)


  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,637 Member
    I get a pretty good one as well from my Garmin (45ml/kg/min). The number is derived from a few formulas that Garmin applies to your activities, particularly running. It is not accurate. When I was training for a half-marathon, my number went down because I was training at a lower pace on longer runs, for example.

    Re. the bold - agreed.
    Steady state moderate efforts on my bikes result in a lower VO2 max estimate, to get a decent approximation I have to push hard for 20 mins or more to see my highest scores (42 typically for the last few years in the outdoor season).

    The high effort scores correlate pretty well for me with a proper VO2 max test in a lab but really it's just an interesting piece in the jigsaw.
  • Djproulx
    Djproulx Posts: 2,792 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    I get a pretty good one as well from my Garmin (45ml/kg/min). The number is derived from a few formulas that Garmin applies to your activities, particularly running. It is not accurate. When I was training for a half-marathon, my number went down because I was training at a lower pace on longer runs, for example.

    Re. the bold - agreed.
    Steady state moderate efforts on my bikes result in a lower VO2 max estimate, to get a decent approximation I have to push hard for 20 mins or more to see my highest scores (42 typically for the last few years in the outdoor season).

    The high effort scores correlate pretty well for me with a proper VO2 max test in a lab but really it's just an interesting piece in the jigsaw.

    @sijomial - Your comments (bolded) make me really question my current score of 48 for cycling VO2 max, since I'm currently only riding 4.5-6hrs via 3 indoor sessions/week. Typically one higher intensity (two rounds of russian sprints inside 1hr session) one sweet spot endurance and a 2.5hr endurance ride with a few short VO2 max intervals mixed in. I also don't believe garmin's VO2 number of 51, unless swim workouts are included in that calculation, since I'm not doing any real hard running yet.

    I find the performance management chart in TP to be a very useful gauge of my fitness and fatigue, but now I'm a bit more curious about how the garmin tool works.

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,637 Member
    Djproulx wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    I get a pretty good one as well from my Garmin (45ml/kg/min). The number is derived from a few formulas that Garmin applies to your activities, particularly running. It is not accurate. When I was training for a half-marathon, my number went down because I was training at a lower pace on longer runs, for example.

    Re. the bold - agreed.
    Steady state moderate efforts on my bikes result in a lower VO2 max estimate, to get a decent approximation I have to push hard for 20 mins or more to see my highest scores (42 typically for the last few years in the outdoor season).

    The high effort scores correlate pretty well for me with a proper VO2 max test in a lab but really it's just an interesting piece in the jigsaw.

    @sijomial - Your comments (bolded) make me really question my current score of 48 for cycling VO2 max, since I'm currently only riding 4.5-6hrs via 3 indoor sessions/week. Typically one higher intensity (two rounds of russian sprints inside 1hr session) one sweet spot endurance and a 2.5hr endurance ride with a few short VO2 max intervals mixed in. I also don't believe garmin's VO2 number of 51, unless swim workouts are included in that calculation, since I'm not doing any real hard running yet.

    I find the performance management chart in TP to be a very useful gauge of my fitness and fatigue, but now I'm a bit more curious about how the garmin tool works.
    @Djproulx
    I think you are a far more advanced athlete than me from your posts over the years so would be surprised if my real VO2 max wasn't considerably lower than yours.

    I scored 38 in a proper VO2 max test several years ago but that test was flawed as they started the ramp test too low (oh look - old fat bloke, better start low....) and I took far too long to get to the point of maximal effort. My performance has improved a lot since then as my cycling volume has gone up so 42 feels a reasonable estimate in comparison. A bit hard to compare fitness level throughout the year as in the winter I rarely ride outdoors and in the cycling season I rarely ride indoors where you can control all the variables for consistency.

    TBH I place a lot more reliance on FTP tests than Garmin's VO2 estimate based on HR and power, less interpretation and higher quality data.
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,449 Member
    edited February 2020
    I found Garmin's VO2max to be surprisingly accurate for me (as measured while wearing my HRM strap and compared to a real test on a dreadmill around the same time). You do have to have a few all out efforts for it to work well though. Just running LSD runs or slow easy cycling won't do it.

    https://www.firstbeat.com/en/consumer-feature/vo2max-fitness-level/
  • Djproulx
    Djproulx Posts: 2,792 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    Djproulx wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    I get a pretty good one as well from my Garmin (45ml/kg/min). The number is derived from a few formulas that Garmin applies to your activities, particularly running. It is not accurate. When I was training for a half-marathon, my number went down because I was training at a lower pace on longer runs, for example.

    Re. the bold - agreed.
    Steady state moderate efforts on my bikes result in a lower VO2 max estimate, to get a decent approximation I have to push hard for 20 mins or more to see my highest scores (42 typically for the last few years in the outdoor season).

    The high effort scores correlate pretty well for me with a proper VO2 max test in a lab but really it's just an interesting piece in the jigsaw.

    @sijomial - Your comments (bolded) make me really question my current score of 48 for cycling VO2 max, since I'm currently only riding 4.5-6hrs via 3 indoor sessions/week. Typically one higher intensity (two rounds of russian sprints inside 1hr session) one sweet spot endurance and a 2.5hr endurance ride with a few short VO2 max intervals mixed in. I also don't believe garmin's VO2 number of 51, unless swim workouts are included in that calculation, since I'm not doing any real hard running yet.

    I find the performance management chart in TP to be a very useful gauge of my fitness and fatigue, but now I'm a bit more curious about how the garmin tool works.
    @Djproulx
    I think you are a far more advanced athlete than me from your posts over the years so would be surprised if my real VO2 max wasn't considerably lower than yours.

    I scored 38 in a proper VO2 max test several years ago but that test was flawed as they started the ramp test too low (oh look - old fat bloke, better start low....) and I took far too long to get to the point of maximal effort. My performance has improved a lot since then as my cycling volume has gone up so 42 feels a reasonable estimate in comparison. A bit hard to compare fitness level throughout the year as in the winter I rarely ride outdoors and in the cycling season I rarely ride indoors where you can control all the variables for consistency.

    TBH I place a lot more reliance on FTP tests than Garmin's VO2 estimate based on HR and power, less interpretation and higher quality data.

    regarding first bolded commen
    t - I dunno about that. My impression is that you are a fairly accomplished rider, and I just find that Garmin number to be a bit nebulous.

    re: second bolded commen
    t - Ugh. too many rounds of the ramp test brings unneeded pain! My first one started too low and it took way too many jumps to finally reach my breaking point. Still cringe when I think of that test.

    re: third and forth bolded comment
    s: I absolutely rely on FTP tests and actual run threshold tests as the data sources. We test periodically to be sure the workout intensity is appropriate in each upcoming training block. And I seldom worry about understanding my fitness level (though I fret about it constantly, lol) due to the very granular trending information I get from the TP performance management chart. The screen shots below illustrate why. The first view shows a past 90 days/next 21 days view based on workouts done and scheduled sessions, while the second view provides an easy historical view of my fitness over the last two years. As you can see, my fitness went way high during 2018, then took a nosedive while I recovered from injury last year.
    ej2x3cn4m1z6.png



    c5x4ukon2j43.png


    I believe the power of this tool; comes from its ability to factor in acute training load(training stress score of today's work) and cumulative training load (accumulated training stress over last 43 days) to produce a Fitness, Fatigue and Race Readiness value. It provides this data for swim, bike, run disciplines as well as overall fitness. This is invaluable for endurance athletes.

    Anyway, I will cease high jacking this thread and get down off my TP soap box. :)




  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,103 Member
    A mouse has a VO2max that is several times that of any human!

    jaw-drop.gif

    (It helps a lot that it is mass-weighted.)

    Apparently, Garmin uses "Firstbeat" technology. For gory details:

    https://assets.firstbeat.com/firstbeat/uploads/2017/06/white_paper_VO2max_30.6.2017.pdf

    I think the Garmin estimates are good to a few ml/kg/min. The fact that it drifts around month-to-month belies it's accuracy. There is no way in heck your actual VO2max is changing by very much month-to-month. And, it is certainly not going down while you are training for a half-marathon (as Garmin said mine did).

    I note that most of the estimating methods involve running. I'm not sure what they do if you never run. Also, if you run on a treadmill and the distance estimates are wrong, I suspect this will affect your VO2max estimate.
  • awinner_au
    awinner_au Posts: 249 Member
    22sxsivbuhfo.png

    I find that garmin tracks pretty close to Golden cheetah, if i go and do some vo2max interval sessions it will bump it up to 50 for me. I turn 60 later this year so it will be interesting if it bumps me up a grade at 48, currently 50 is the next level for me.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,845 Member
    (snip good info, for reply length)

    I think the Garmin estimates are good to a few ml/kg/min. The fact that it drifts around month-to-month belies it's accuracy. There is no way in heck your actual VO2max is changing by very much month-to-month. And, it is certainly not going down while you are training for a half-marathon (as Garmin said mine did).

    I note that most of the estimating methods involve running. I'm not sure what they do if you never run. Also, if you run on a treadmill and the distance estimates are wrong, I suspect this will affect your VO2max estimate.

    I never run, never ever, and I have a Garmin VO2max rating:

    hj0nevi0en8u.png

    Based on the data points' timing, it seems to estimate it from just walking. (I don't walk often, either, in an "intentional otherwise purposeless walk" way.) That estimate doesn't appear to change, for me.

    qaqwrj0f6djn.png

    But I'm certainly not any kind of disciplined, highly trained athlete.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,045 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    (snip good info, for reply length)

    I think the Garmin estimates are good to a few ml/kg/min. The fact that it drifts around month-to-month belies it's accuracy. There is no way in heck your actual VO2max is changing by very much month-to-month. And, it is certainly not going down while you are training for a half-marathon (as Garmin said mine did).

    I note that most of the estimating methods involve running. I'm not sure what they do if you never run. Also, if you run on a treadmill and the distance estimates are wrong, I suspect this will affect your VO2max estimate.

    I never run, never ever, and I have a Garmin VO2max rating:

    hj0nevi0en8u.png

    Based on the data points' timing, it seems to estimate it from just walking. (I don't walk often, either, in an "intentional otherwise purposeless walk" way.)

    I run and walk (both on treadmill) and I never get a VO2 max score after running, only after walking. Which is a bit annoying since only indoor running allows calibration and indoor walking doesn't (and I've noticed that my Garmin often exaggerates my walking distance).
  • ritzvin
    ritzvin Posts: 2,847 Member
    Mine (920XT) will estimate for either running (HR monitor required) or cycling (HR monitor + power meter required).
  • Djproulx
    Djproulx Posts: 2,792 Member
    ritzvin wrote: »
    Mine (920XT) will estimate for either running (HR monitor required) or cycling (HR monitor + power meter required).

    Yep, same here via 920xt w/HRM and Power.
  • jhanleybrown
    jhanleybrown Posts: 239 Member
    edited March 2020
    So I'm 48...amateur cyclist...not a Cat rider. But avid recreationalist and ride with a group that describes itself as "medium core". Former collegiate rower (D1 but lightweight). FTP is about 260 and power to weight is just under 3.2. Goal is 280 FTP and power/weight of 3.5.

    Can someone educate me on this particular VO2 max measure? Any value in tracking it in addition to FTP and power/weight? I dont have a Garmin...so not sure how to calculate this but do know my VO2 max power range right now is around 275-310 watts. I'm taking an FTP test every 6-8 weeks. Thinking of trying Sufferfest for indoor but mostly doing Peloton Powerzone training for indoor (which I'm liking). Ride both road and gravel outside with my riding group.

    Thanks in advance for your insight.