Vo2max or speed workout
VO2max and speed workouts are often a runner’s favorite training day because they’re finally allowed to run hard and push the limits. However, it’s still important for you to learn what these paces feel like so you don’t start a session of 12 x 400 meters too fast and are unable to finish strong (or at all).
From a pacing perspective, VO2max workouts are completed at 5k pace or faster.
What are the training benefits of a Vo2max workout
Defined simply, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise. It’s a combination of how much oxygen-rich blood your heart can pump and the muscles efficiency in extracting and utilizing the oxygen.
Training at VO2max increases the amount of oxygen your body can use; the more oxygen you can use, the faster you can run.
In addition, since VO2max workouts are much faster than normal training, they force you to run more efficiently and with better form.
Developing a proper feel for VO2 max work will enable you to push yourself further during speed sessions and complete workouts strong.
What does a VO2max workout feel like
A VO2max workout will feel near maximum effort. You should be breathing very hard and only feel like you would be able to keep running for another 100 meters after you finish your interval or only be able to run one or two more intervals at the end of a workout.
- Typically, a VO2 max workout will require a very short breathing ratio to maximize the amount of oxygen to your lungs. Most runners use a 1:2 ratio (one step breathing in, two steps breathing out) or 2:1 ratio (two steps breathing in and one step breathing out) breathing rhythm. This will increase your oxygen uptake to 60 breaths per minute.
- The talk test for a VO2 max session is simple – when you start an interval you could blurt out a few words, but definitely not a full sentence. In the final half of your interval, you shouldn’t be able to talk at all.
While understanding training terminology is important, to translate these efforts appropriately to your training you need to appreciate what they feel like.
Learning to feel the proper pace in training isn’t just for beginners.
Too many experienced runners neglect what their body is telling them and are driven by the numbers on their Garmin, which often results in overtraining and not getting the most bang for your buck from a workout.
In addition, experienced and beginner runners alike can use the information about how a certain workout should feel to adjust their training for hot summer weather, hilly courses, and bad training days.
Learn to listen to your body and train smarter this summer.