Performance Evaluation ~ wVO2max
Kat Guillemot ~ In the happy zone (for now)
This is the warm up...
What is it?
The wVO2max Test is a semi-stressful, semi-endurance based test that is carried out for a period of six minutes. It includes a ten kilometre warm up and ten minute cool down.
To better understand the physiological issues this test addresses please read our VO2max Factsheet.
Why do I need it?
This test is used to determine an athlete's minimal wattage at which maximal aerobic capacity is attained. It tells you their sustained wattage output at their maximum oxygen consumption, which is indicated by the term, wVO2max.
Basically, it's the start of the Red Zone which, when racing, should be crossed only when absolutely necessary.
It further reveals an athletes aerobic capability and efficiency during endurance activity. It is one of the most powerful predictors of an athlete's endurance performance.
Without a clear wVO2max index, improving it can be a hit and miss affair. If you want to improve your cycling this is the test for you.
How to Prepare
This is a semi-strenuous test that takes you to the edge of your physiological aerobic capabilities and places a significant strain on your body. It is very important to make sure you:
▼ are fully rested
▼ are fully hydrated
▼ have had no hard rides for at least two days previous
▼ have not eaten for at least two hours previous
▼ have been of good health for at least four weeks
▼ have good motivation and morale
▼ are mentally prepared for the sustained effort required
A wVO2max test is not a pleasant experience.
However, the result it provides give an excellent indicator to the endurance capacity and race winning potential of an athlete.
After a thorough warm up, stop, compose yourself, take a drink and let your heart rate "settle".
Ease in to the start of the test, taking a full minute to build up to the pace to where you think you need to be, to enable yourself to get to the end.
From the one minute build up, to the drop off point, start the test!
thirty seconds to ramp up to your hoped for, steady-state, speed or
power. DON'T use or rely on heart rate.
30 second video taken at five minutes in, with one minute to go
Dr Richard Worth giving it 100% ~ Filmed in Painorama
Hold it at your limit for as long as you can and just concentrate on getting to the end. Do not sprint at the end or go in to ramp up mode. You'll only skew your lactate reading and might make 2 watts difference to your overall average. Ragged edge, steady state is the key.
Maintaining constant effort, and concentrating on form and technique in the test are critical to the accuracy and repeatability of the results.
The results of a wVO2max test provides crucial information in the preparation of a personalised athlete performance programme.
The information gleaned will allow the development of a training plan to improve wVO2max, lactate threshold, efficiency at VO2max pace, strength and power all in one six week training period!
Apart from the physiological rewards, the confidence and psychological edge to be gained from this test, and subsequent programme, make it an extremely efficient and effective use of your training time.
But the ultimate success of a test and programme, is measured by results gained on the road...
Spencer taking the win...