VO₂ max Testing

1 min read

Today I visited Teesside University for a VO₂ max & Lactate Threshold Test as part of my training for the Great North Run 2019.

View the IGTV video footage

The video footage joins the testing 10 minutes in and shows the incremental increase of the treadmill speed at 3 minute intervals, to the point of collapse:

Firstly a quick summary of the terminology:

What is VO₂ max?

VO₂ max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise; that is, exercise of increasing intensity. The name is derived from three abbreviations: “V” for volume, “O₂” for oxygen, and “max” for maximum.

What is Lactate Threshold?

Lactate inflection point, is the exercise intensity at which the blood concentration of lactate and/or lactic acid begins to exponentially increase. It is often expressed as 85% of maximum heart rate or 75% of maximum oxygen intake.

What I learnt from Today’s testing

Today’s testing showed a significant improvement from my first test 9 months ago.

◀️ Dec 2018 – the very first session of my training plan for my first ever marathon.

▶️ Aug 2019 (Today) – Less than two weeks to the Great North Run and entering taper mode.

VO₂ max results

My VO₂ max score improved from 53.6 to 66, which means my body has become more efficient.

Lactate Threshold results

The VO₂ max score is not everything, the most valuable metric is my lactate threshold or ‘point of no return’ where my heart rate drifts after reaching this pace. It shows my current level of fitness and body’s capacity.

I’ll be building a race plan and strategy around this for Great North Run 2019.

View the full report as a downloadable PDF

Please share any questions in the comments, happy to help.