How I’ve estimated VO2 max and how you can too
I’ve been using an equation for several years now to estimate my VO2 max. I can calculate it from each run (and I could do bike too if I had a power meter). Regardless, I was excited to see from my recent fitness workup that it was relatively accurate. It doesn’t actually matter b/c it’s all relative and it will show relative improvements in my own efficiency whether the absolute number is accurate or not, but that’s sort of beside the point 🙂 The real reason I’m writing this is to share with you how I estimated it and where I got the equation from. I hunted it down and I used a relatively old post from Alan Couzens that can be found here.
I have no idea where he got these equations from, but on a sample of 1 (me) they seem to work relatively well. As I said in my results, my VO2 max was measured at 62.07 and the equation has me at 61.3, so it was right on the money for me at this point in time. However, even if the equation is way off for you, it’s a great way to record and compare your runs b/c it allows you to see general fitness build as your score goes up through training (hopefully) and you become more efficient.
The equation I’ve used for running is:
- W = Power of the session in watts (norm.)
- P = Pace of the session in min/km (flat/norm.)
- BW = Bodyweight in kg
- THR = Training heart rate in bpm
- MHR = Max heart rate in bpm
- RHR = Resting heart rate in bpm
Hit the link and read Alan’s page if you want more details on this.