​Running V​​O2max

Endurance performance is dependent on the body's ability to transport and utilise oxygen for energy production. This ab​ility is measured by the VO2max test, which is commonly used to determine not only the ability/fitness of the athlete but also the endurance potential of the athlete. From the information gained from this test we are able to advise you on a training programmes that is specific to your body's ability and your current training status.


What does the test involve?

This is a running test that takes place on a treadmill whilst your oxygen consumption is measured. You will complete a 5 – 10 minute warm up session on the treadmill where you will be running at a steady and slow running speed. After this warm up, a gas mask will be placed on your face. This gas mask is connected to the Cortex CPET gas analyser and measures the breathing rate and concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your breath. This allows for the determination of your VO2max. We will also attach a heart rate monitor strap to you. Heart rate is then measured throughout the test and these data are then used to determine your individualised heart rate training zones.

Left: Cortex cardio-pulmonary system used for the measurement of VO2max.

What will you get?

You will receive a report indicating your results from the VO2max test and these results will be discussed with you. These results will include your VO2max, ventilatory threshold 1 (VT1) and ventilatory threshold 2 (VT2), and the comparison between the various variables at VO2max and VT1/VT2. You will also receive training recommendations based on your test results.


Above: Example of the report generated from your data.

How long will it take?

This test will take about 1 hour. This will include a 5 to 10 minute warm-up, the testing procedure which lasts about 20 - 30 minutes and then finally a discussion about the results and the report generated from the test.


Above: Example of the heart rate zones training zones as established from your test results.

What should you do/bring?

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when preparing for running VO2max. Firstly you need to bring your running clothes and running shoes. You also need to comply with the following pre-test specifications:

  1. No eating or drinking 2-3 hours before the test
  2. No alcohol or caffeine 12 hours before the test
  3. No strenuous exercise 24 hours before the test​