Warning! Warning!color> Engineering nerd alert!!! This post contains lots of charts and graphs, which I love, because I’m an Engineer…I can’t help it!
So the main reason for having my VO2 max tested was to determine what my correct training zones should be. I’ve always trained hard, but with this data, I can now train smart!
I’m reading Joe Friel’s “The Triathlete’s Training Bible” to plan my training for the next year. The book lays out workouts according to training zones. These zones are based on your heart rate. Part of the VO2 max test was to determine where my heart rate should be in each training zone.
Zone 1 (recovery): 112-138 bpm
Zone 2 (extensive endurance): 139-151 bpm – this is where I will do the majority of my training
Zone 3 (intensive endurance): 152-158 bpm
Zones 4 & 5a (threshold): 159-173 bpm
Zone 5b (anaerobic endurance): 174-179 bpm
Zone 5c (power): 180-186 bpm
Take a look at this chart form the VO2 max test results. Note that right around 375-400 watts, my heart rate reached it’s threshold (170-175 bpm). This means that in this heart rate zone I’m at my aerobic max. Time spent in this zone will be logged in minutes, not hours.
These two graphs show HR (heart rate) over time and VE (expired ventilation) over time for the entire VO2 max test. You can see that on both graphs, right around the 6 minute mark things changed. My heart rate began to increase rapidly after briefly leveling out and my VE went through the roof. This is around the point where I had to start working harder to maintain the desired power level.
If you notice, my HR is around 140 at this point, which is in zone 2. This zone is where long endurance workouts will take place. Aerobic endurance is built and eventually maintained by exercising in this zone. This is the level where you can run while carrying on a conversation.