Sunday, June 13, 2010

V02 Max and marathon training

Last week included my first track workout since the end of April. Most of my hard workouts in preperation for Chicago will be tempo pace (aka lactate threshold) or marathon pace - however the Jack Daniels schedule includes five weeks of interval or V02 max workouts in the second phase of his 24 week training cycle. VO2 max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that can be processed by the body in a certain time period - it is expressed as litres of oxygen per minute. In other words it is the capacity of the cardiovascular system and peripheral systems (muscle groups) to take in oxygen, deliver to muscle systems, process oxygen, and deal with the by-products.

VO2 max can be tested by increasing pace every minute until the runner is going all out. Expired air is collected in a bag during the test - heart rate is taken at the end and lactate levels are measured two minutes after the end of the test when lactate is highest. Along with lactate threshold and running economy it is an important determinant to distance running. It is most important for distances up to 10k.

So, how do you improve VO2 max? Interval training is the most efficient way to improve VO2 max. Usually this is done by running at 3k-5k pace (usually95-100% VO2 max) for 3-5 minute intervals with recovery times that are equal to, or a little less, than the time of the interval. The amount of total weekly interval-paced training should be up to 8 percent of total mileage according to Jack Daniels.

V02 max work might be most important for 10k and 5k racing, but it cannot be ignored when training for a marathon. You hope to never reach 95% of your V02 max during a marathon, but the stress that is put on your basic oxygen processing systems during a V02 max workout will help you to run a better marathon. Also it would be pretty boring to have 18 weeks of nothing but tempo and marathon pace hard workouts. The five weeks of interval workouts help to break up the long 24 week training cycle a bit. I ran a lot of interval workouts this winter and spring, as a result I didn't feel too uncomfortable on Thursday. This week marks my first tempo workout, along with another interval workout - all during a planned 96 mile week. I'm guessing my topic next week will be about "recovery" : )

Last Week
Monday: 8.5 miles
Tuesday: 14 miles
Wednesday: 10.5 miles
Thursday morning: 4 miles
Thursday evening: 12 miles 7X1200 @ I pace 3 min rest (3:47.8, 3:48.2, 3:46.2, 3:46.9, 3:44.6, 3:46.3, 3:46.6)
Friday morning: 4 miles
Friday evening: 11 miles
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: 19 miles
Total: 95 miles

This Week
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday: 13 miles 7 mi tempo
Wednesday: 14 miles
Thursday morning: 6 miles
Thursday evening: 10.5 miles
Friday: 10.5 miles
Saturday: 12 miles 8X1200 @ I pace
Sunday: 18 miles
Total: 96 miles

1 comment:

RM said...

Collin, that was a great solid paragraph/story you wrote.