Wheels Asia - - Tiesj benoot // q&a -

Tap into the car­dio­vas­cu­lar code that can power you to achieve your fit­ness goals with James He­witt, per­for­mance coach at HINTSA Per­for­mance

Why Go Max?

“Your VO2 max is the max­i­mal vol­ume of oxy­gen that can be in­haled and used by your body. It’s often ex­pressed as a ra­tio – ml.kg.min – to de­scribe max­i­mum oxy­gen up­take rel­a­tive to body mass over a pe­riod of one minute. There’s a cor­re­la­tion be­tween VO2 max and en­durance per­for­mance and a higher VO2 max means that your body can take in more oxy­gen and de­liver it to your mus­cles, en­abling you to cy­cle faster for a given ef­fort.” So, clearly, this is an area worth tar­get­ing, but how?

Tai­lor Your Train­ing

“There’s often room for VO2 max im­prove­ment among am­a­teurs, but you’ll need a tar­geted train­ing pro­gramme to achieve it. Both of the fol­low­ing meth­ods aim to achieve ben­e­fi­cial adap­ta­tions to im­prove fit­ness and VO2 max. Be re­al­is­tic about how much train­ing stress you can han­dle – only tackle high in­ten­sity ses­sions when fresh enough to hit the ‘big num­bers’. Build a deep base through as much low-in­ten­sity rid­ing as you can fit in - and do the high-in­ten­sity train­ing once or twice a week.”

Go Long And Low

“You can ‘push up’ your VO2 max from be­low your func­tional thresh­old power (FTP) with low-in­ten­sity, long rides (the ‘thresh­old’ is the max­i­mum in­ten­sity of ef­fort that you could sus­tain for 60 min­utes). For ex­am­ple, go out for three hours of steady rid­ing where you keep your per­ceived rate of ex­er­tion around 2-3 out of 10 (light-to-mod­er­ate), your heart rate at less than 75% of your max or power be­low 75% FTP.” As you progress you can build the length of these rides, but keep the in­ten­sity low.

Go Short And High

“Also aim to ‘pull up’ your VO2 max from above your thresh­old with high-in­ten­sity, short rides. The high lev­els of lac­tate ac­cu­mu­la­tion, oxy­gen debt and high-force mus­cu­lar con­trac­tions will en­cour­age your body to adapt. Start with a 20-minute grad­ual warm-up. Then ride for two min­utes easy in­clud­ing 2 x 6-sec­ond sprints to ‘ac­ti­vate’. For your main set aim for 6 x 3-minute in­ter­vals at 110% FTP and per­ceived ex­er­tion of 7-10. In­clude three min­utes of light re­cov­ery be­tween each in­ter­val and then cool down.”

If you can boost your VO2 max you will be able to ride faster for the same ef­fort

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