VO2 max (also referred to as cardio capability) is the maximal quantity of oxygen the physique can devour throughout train. That is important for endurance athletes due to the function oxygen performs in power growth. Particularly, the physique makes use of oxygen to transform meals into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the human ‘gasoline’ wanted to facilitate all muscular contraction and bodily processes. A central side of biking efficiency is the power to provide sufficient power to finish exercises and aggressive occasions on the highest degree doable. Extra oxygen equates to higher ATP manufacturing, which implies higher endurance on the bike. That is why a excessive VO2 max is nice for cyclists and different aggressive endurance athletes. Whereas it isn’t an excellent predictor of biking efficiency (lactate threshold is a greater predictor, which is why we develop coaching zones primarily based on LT as a substitute of VO2 max), it’s a superb predictor of endurance sports activities potential.
Cardio capability can solely be measured in a lab setting utilizing a biking ergometer and a metabolic cart, which consists of a number of devices that measure the quantity of air the bike owner breathes, the quantity of oxygen extracted from this air and quantity of carbon dioxide produced. The check consists of pedaling at progressively increased workloads (sometimes elevated each one to a few minutes till the bike owner reaches his/her restrict) whereas expired air is collected by means of a mouthpiece for evaluation by the metabolic cart. A pc then calculates VO2 max, which could be articulated in each absolute and relative measures. Absolutely the measure is liters of oxygen utilized per minute (L/min). The relative measure, which is the extra widespread utilization, is milliliters of oxygen utilized per kilogram of physique weight per minute (ml/kg/min). The common untrained particular person has a VO2 max of about 40 ml/kg/min, whereas well-trained cyclists sometimes have cardio capacities within the vary of 55 to 65 ml/kg/min. After all, some élite athletes have a lot increased cardio capacities. For instance, Lance Armstrong’s VO2 max has been measured as excessive as 83 ml/kg/min.
If you wish to have your cardio capability measured, you’ll need to discover a native sports activities efficiency lab that gives metabolic testing. The variety of labs is growing and in some instances, it may be so simple as going to an area bike store or college. Cyclists can typically have lactate threshold and cardio capability measured on the similar time. Simply remember that the assessments is usually a bit expensive ($100 to $200 in lots of instances). Since lactate threshold is the extra vital measure for the event of coaching zones, and you may decide lactate threshold coronary heart fee with an inexpensive diploma of accuracy within the discipline, you could justifiably determine to bypass cardio capability testing. Nonetheless, in case you determine to have it finished, do not forget that cardio capability just isn’t a fantastic predictor of biking efficiency, solely potential. In case your VO2 max is excessive, that doesn’t assure you’ll be a fantastic bike owner, though you’re off to a pleasant begin. Then again, in case your cardio capability is comparatively low, do not be discouraged. With correct coaching and vitamin, you’ll nonetheless discover nice success in biking!