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Training for VO2 improvement?(9 posts)

Training for VO2 improvement?Jim Burton
May 25, 2001 5:30 PM
Can anyone give me some good training tecniques for improving Max VO2? Is MVO2 set by genetics, or can one alter thier "destiny". Is MVO2 related to heart conditioning?

I have noticed some improvement since I began training seriously, like a 12 bpm drop in my resting heartrate and shortened recovery time. I have only been training with a regimen for about a month and a half. Before training, I was a little more active than "sedentary". I rode sporadically and aimlessly most of the time. But, I was interested, since I am seeing some improvement, in getting a little further into intensive training. So if anyone can recommend some good intervals for MVO2, if such a thing exists I would be grateful.
Sorry for the false problem.Jim Burton
May 25, 2001 5:34 PM
re: Training for VO2 improvement?must_pedal_harder
May 25, 2001 8:08 PM
1/2 and 1/2.

I've heard you can change your MaxV02 by a few precentage points by training at LT - and I've found it to be more or less true.

re: Training for VO2 improvement?Jon Billheimer
May 25, 2001 8:35 PM

Doing 3 to 6 min. intervals well above your lactate threshold will improve your VO2 max. However, this is not an especially good idea until you've developed a good aerobic base. A general rule of thumb is not to do real intensive training until you've been training/riding aerobically for about two years. Establishing an aerobic base itself will improve your total aerobic capacity by strengthening your heart, vascularizing your bike-specific muscles, increasing mitochondrial size and density in the muscles, and increasing aerobic enzymes. So be careful and sensible. First things first.
re: Training for VO2 improvement?Jim Burton
May 25, 2001 9:06 PM
What are the dangers of doing such training early? I have heard to put on a good aerobic base before doing any interval work, but I thought that it was for the first half of the season, not a two year period. That said, I am not doing any real interval training yet anyway. I am still trying to rack up the aerobic miles. I am doing some things like short sprints or tempo rides once a week. I am trying to take it slow so as not to get burned out. But, I have such enthusiasm about cycling that I get impatient about my progress.

So, what would be some good things to speed my progress along without doing whatever harm can be done by training hard to early?
re: Training for VO2 improvement?Jon Billheimer
May 25, 2001 9:53 PM
Training too intensely too early can result in both psychological and physical burnout. The body not being conditioned properly to absorb and adjust to intense stress will not recover as quickly as it should. You can also become susceptible to injury by going too hard too soon. Peak fitness gains are governed and limited to a great extent by your aerobic base. For now, ride consistently and ride moderately, meaning ride almost entirely in your aerobic zone. Do some hill work to build strength. Some work in the upper end of your aerobic zone to stimulate aerobic development and gradually raise your lactate threshold. And ride a lot to build endurance, gradually increasing distances but keeping intensity down to under 75% of your maximum heart rate. Always make sure to include adequate periods of rest and low intensity riding between your harder efforts. It is during recovery periods that the body adapts and becomes stronger. For an authoritative treatment on cycling training consult Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel, Serious Cycling by Ed Burke, and Smart Cycling by Arnie Baker. Pay especially close attention to Friel's "Ten Commandments of Cycling" in the Training Bible. They're excellent rules to train by. And by all means don't let your enthusiasm wane. Riding becomes a way of life. Spin on!
re: Training for VO2 improvement?Jim Burton
May 25, 2001 11:00 PM
Thanks Jon. I have heard mention of the "Training Bible" but am always a little leary of learning activities from books. But, I will give it a try. At the moment, I am specifically training for an adventure race some friends talked me into, so I'm running quite a bit. I would like to ride more, but am afraid to do both on more than one day a week for fear of overtraining, so I am splitting my week between running and cycling. As soon as this race is over, though, I will be cycling exclusively (well, with the occasional run).

One more question. I don't know if you've heard of "Six Gap", but it is a group of mountain climbs in North Georgia. One of the friends with whom I am doing the adventure race has asked me to try to do this ride this year. Would you consider a challenging series of hills like Six Gap too much to try to do after a year of cycling?
re: Training for VO2 improvement?Jon Billheimer
May 26, 2001 8:27 AM
Depends on how fit, how tough, and how motivated you are. Heck, if you think you can do it, go for it. The point of the previous posts is not to embark on an over-ambitious training program where you're consistently ramping up the intensity before your body's ready for it. One event won't overtrain you, just thrash you real bad for a couple of days. We've all survived stuff like that!
Jon is right.allaround
May 27, 2001 12:36 AM
Take it easy. If you don't have the proper base miles, you will hurt yourself. I've seen alot of guys get really sick or injured from not doing the base miles.