Forums >General Running>Training pace, % of VO2 max and training intensity

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OK so here's another question I have wondered over the past few weeks and am willing to share with you guys to see if it makes any sense at all.

Now we know that we can have an estimated VO2 Max from a race result, using the McMillan calculators and such.

Say I get a reading of 50 for a recent race result.

If I go out on a training run and plug the resulting pace and distance into the McMillan calculator, and get say a VO2 max value of 45, is this relation (45/50) meaningful in some way ? Ie can you calculate this quotient to get a measure of training intensity, and say for instance that it should be below 70 or 80% or whatever if it's to be an easy training pace, or over 90 or 95% if it's to be a proper tempo effort...

Thanks for dropping in on the question!

Pedro

No, estimating VO2max from a race result is sketchy enough as it is. A VO2max estimate from a sub-maximal effort is totally meaningless.

Runners run.

So Mikeymike you are saying to doesn't correlate the way % of max heart rate might?

I'm not sure I understand the question. I am not saying anything about correlation or heart rate.

Measuring VO2max requires a maximum effort and a ventilator to measure oxygen and CO2 concentrations. Estimating VO2max from a race effort can be somewhat useful for training purposes, or for comparing races at different distances. But I can't see how plugging a sub-maximal effort into a VO2max calculator would produce anything useful.

Runners run.

I guess the question is, when you see things like "80% of VO2Max", does that refer to pace (in which case the answer to the poster's question would seem to be yes), or more literally to oxygen uptake rate (pace at which you're using 80% of your maximum uptake)? I would think the former, because otherwise things like 110% of VO2Max -- which I have seen -- wouldn't make any sense.

That said, determining appropriate training paces by looking at estimated VO2Max seems to be an unnecessarily roundabout way of going about it.

It is true that 110% of VO2max is meaningless, but I think what's meant in that construction where it's > 100% is 110% of vVO2max or 110% of the velocity at VO2max (definitely going big time anaerobic). So, if vVO2 max is about 5 minutes per mile for someone, 5.67 meters/second, than 110% would be about 6.2 m/s, whatever that works out to in pace. In contradiction, I think what is usually intended by 80% VO2max is actually the opposite: pace at 80% VO2max, not 80% of VO2max pace.

It is actually possible to estimate %VO2max from %HRmax if HRmax is known (and I think most people probably don't actually know what it is), but the key word there is "estimate" because there can be many confounding factors for HR as a measure of effort.

As to the OP's original question.... I don't know! It's an intriguing one. I'd have to do the proof for myself (or at least a few example problems ). Now I think it shall disrupt my sleep tonight until I have figured it out.

- Joe

We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

That said, determining appropriate training paces by looking at estimated VO2Max seems to be an unnecessarily roundabout way of going about it.

I do agree with this. I nerd out on this stuff a lot lately, but I don't actually USE it to determine training paces. For that I have McMillan to thank, not to mention some experience of my own, Jeff, and some stubbornness (probably running reps sometimes faster than I should).

- Joe

We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

It is true that 110% of VO2max is meaningless, but I think what's meant in that construction where it's > 100% is 110% of vVO2max or 110% of the velocity at VO2max (definitely going big time anaerobic). So, if vVO2 max is about 5 minutes per mile for someone, 5.67 meters/second, than 110% would be about 6.2 m/s, whatever that works out to in pace.

In contradiction, I think what is usually intended by 80% VO2max is actually the opposite: pace at 80% VO2max, not 80% of VO2max pace.

This is my understanding also - although I usually substitute effort for pace. (trail runner on hilly trails makes pace a weird concept, and I've never done a flat, non-snow race to have a valid input to any of the calculators)

It is actually possible to estimate %VO2max from %HRmax if HRmax is known (and I think most people probably don't actually know what it is), but the key word there is "estimate" because there can be many confounding factors for HR as a measure of effort.

This is the formula that I think I've seen the most:

<abbr>%MHR</abbr> = 0.6463 x <abbr>%VO2max</abbr> + 37.182

But like, with most regressions, it may or may not be meaningful for an individual.

As to the OP's original question.... I don't know! It's an intriguing one. I'd have to do the proof for myself (or at least a few example problems ). Now I think it shall disrupt my sleep tonight until I have figured it out.

4000ft of uphill then same downhill in about 7 mi will ensure that I won't have *that* sleep problem tonight. (maybe some throbbing legs)

"So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

Meticulous calculations with fuzzy quantities.

modified: 7/2/2013 at 11:22 AM

Isn't what the OP is asking the basis for Daniels' "Points" system of estimating paces? He uses something called VDOT to emphasize that is NOT the same as Vo2Max.

Isn't what the OP is asking the basis for Daniels' "Points" system of estimating paces? He uses something called VDOT to emphasize that is NOT the same as Vo2Max.

Not as far as I can tell. Daniels calculates VDOT from a max (race) effort and all training paces are calculated from the resulting value. Whether you want to talk about VO2max or VDOT, I still can't see how you could take a sub maximal effort, plug it into a VDOT calculator, compare it to your "actual" VDOT, and get anything meaningful from it.

It's like comparing an estimate of an estimate to the actual estimate.

Runners run.

It's like comparing an estimate of an estimate to the actual estimate.

In your estimation.

On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office. But you *will* wish that you'd spent more time running. Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

In your estimation.

His inestimable estimation, that is.

The thing about the VO2Max number that RA assigns to workout entries is that RA seems to factor in the distance and pace. So if your "true" estimated VO2Max is 50.0 and RA says today's workout entry has a VO2Max value of 40.0, I'm not sure what you can take away from the numerical "fact" that you ran the workout at "80% of VO2Max" (whatever that means).

"I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."

-- Dick LeBeau

Not as far as I can tell. Daniels calculates VDOT from a max (race) effort and all training paces are calculated from the resulting value. Whether you want to talk about VO2max or VDOT, I still can't see how you could take a sub maximal effort, plug it into a VDOT calculator, compare it to your "actual" VDOT, and get anything meaningful from it.

It's like comparing an estimate of an estimate to the actual estimate.

"*Ie can you calculate this quotient to get a measure of training intensity, and say for instance that it should be below 70 or 80% or whatever if it's to be an easy training pace, or over 90 or 95% if it's to be a proper tempo effort...*"

I think he's asking whether it is valid to use a maximal race effort as a baseline to determine relative intensities of other training runs and at about what pace they should be run. There's a spreadsheet of Daniels-based calculations that shows this, I think, exactly. I've never studied Daniels's stuff but this sure looks like what the OP is asking about, doesn't it? Screenshot:

And I *don't* think that's what he/she is asking because before the part you quoted, there is this:

If I go out on a training run and plug the resulting pace and distance into the McMillan calculator, and get say a VO2 max value of 45, is this relation (45/50) meaningful in some way ?

At any rate, I'm bored with this thread.

Runners run.

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Forums >General Running>Training pace, % of VO2 max and training intensity