Skip to main content

(DAY 131) Understanding VO2 Max in Running

· 3 min read
Gaurav Parashar

When it comes to running, we often strive to push our limits and improve our performance. One crucial factor that plays a significant role in our running capabilities is our VO2 max. Understanding VO2 max and its impact on our endurance and overall fitness can unlock our potential as runners.

What is VO2 Max?

VO2 max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen our body can utilize during intense exercise. It is a measure of our aerobic capacity and is often used as an indicator of endurance performance. The higher our VO2 max, the more efficiently our cardiovascular system can deliver oxygen to our muscles, enabling us to sustain physical activity for longer periods.

VO2 Max = maximum milliliters of oxygen consumed in 1 minute/bodyweight in kilograms

The more easy runs you do, the more your aerobic system adapts. When your aerobic system improves, then your VO2 max increases. While some runners enjoy interval work, others find that a higher volume of easy runs is what they prefer for improving their VO2 max.


VO2 Max Ranges - Male

Improvement through Regular Running

Since May 2023, I have embarked on a regular running routine, aiming to improve my fitness and overall endurance. Over the past two months, I have diligently trained, and I've observed a noticeable improvement in my VO2 max. This improvement indicates that my body has become more efficient at utilizing oxygen, enabling me to push my limits and perform better during my runs.

VO2 Max Improvement in 2 months - Gaurav Parashar

VO2 Max Improvement in 2 months - Gaurav Parashar

Easier 5 km Runs

One tangible effect of the improved VO2 max is the ease with which I can now complete a 5 km run compared to when I first started. Initially, running 5 km felt challenging, with fatigue setting in quickly. However, as my aerobic capacity improved, I noticed that I could sustain a faster pace for a longer duration without feeling as exhausted. The distance that once seemed daunting now feels more manageable and enjoyable, fueling my motivation to push even further.

Strengthening the Body and Legs

While improvements in VO2 max are predominantly influenced by aerobic training, it is essential not to overlook the role of overall body and leg strength in running performance. Strength training exercises targeting the core, upper body, and lower body can complement your running routine and further enhance your capabilities. By incorporating exercises such as planks, squats, lunges, and calf raises into your workout regimen, you can strengthen the muscles involved in running, improving stability, power, and overall performance. Stronger legs can propel you forward with greater efficiency, reducing the risk of injuries and optimizing your running experience. ion:

Embarking on a regular running routine has allowed me to witness firsthand the positive impact of improved VO2 max on my endurance and overall performance. The ability to run 5 km more effortlessly is a testament to the body's adaptability and the benefits of consistent training. While VO2 max can be enhanced through aerobic exercises like running, it is equally important to focus on strengthening the body and legs. By incorporating strength training exercises into your routine, you can optimize your running capabilities, improve stability, and reduce the risk of injuries.