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A couple friends/club mates are going to do a session with a coach to assess their VO2 threshold. I've heard it's a ton of fun ;-) and it costs $150. Both of which I'm somewhat okay with, if I think I'll gain usable info.

As background: I'm 45, don't road race but do mtn bike race - a consistent podium'ing Cat-2, 99% of my miles are on the road.

I use a power meter on the road bike, but rely more on my HR - on the road and trail. I know, from years of monitoring my HR in races, that for a 1:45:00 - 2:00:00 XC race, my HR should average 168 (92% of max). Less than that, and I've left too much in the tank, over that, and I'll blow up.

I know little about VO2... my max, threshold, zones, etc. What would I gain? Would I go through all that and learn "You should target 168 BPM for 2-hour races"?

Thanks!
 

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Other than giving you some numbers ... it's likely not going to help your training.

The question that really needs to be asked is this: Once you get the numbers, what do you plan on doing with them? If the answer is nothing, why spend the money?

If you use a coach you can pass the numbers along to the coach and they may be able to fine tune your training plan, but the reality is they would/should already have a pretty close approximation based on your 5 minute power and weight.
 

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I have a lab with all of the toys (met cart, dxa, lactate, glucose, wingate etc)

And what wookie said is right on track.

I train with power, and the only toy I use is the DXA. I might play with max tests and metabolic efficiency this summer, but that is more to play and teach new lab techs than get the data.

So are neat numbers worth $150. That is up to you. It is free for me, and I don't really use them.
 

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A couple friends/club mates are going to do a session with a coach to assess their VO2 threshold. I've heard it's a ton of fun ;-) and it costs $150. Both of which I'm somewhat okay with, if I think I'll gain usable info.

I know little about VO2... my max, threshold, zones, etc. What would I gain? Would I go through all that and learn "You should target 168 BPM for 2-hour races"?
VO2 Max will tell you what? Answer = nothing. It's a bit like knowing your height. There are racers with "low" VO2 Max kicking the butts of racers with "high" VO2 Max. If you train with HR, then the number on which to base your training is max sustainable HR (aka LTHR) and you can get that number for free any time you want to check it. If you train with power there are many good books and lots of online advice how best to do that. None of this uses VO2 Max for anything.

If you want to spend $150 to satisfy your curiosity then get the number. You can't do anything with it.
 

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I'll step in as the "yes" vote but with the caveat that you can get a decently close approximation of VO2 via other methods - you don't have to go the full nose-clip-mask route.

Anyway, its my understanding that vo2 max is somehow related to your ability to recover from supra-threshold / anaerobic efforts. So it might be useful to understand how you rank on the scale of "ability to catch my breath after a hard effort"

Obviously that's not the only factor. But it's one of them. If you knew that you had a high vo2, it might change your racing style, help you decide which sorts of races are suited for you, etc.

OTOH if you have a mediocre or even low vo2, it's not the end - you might be the type who has a slow twitch bias and can maintain a very high threshold pace, like Wiggins for example.

As noted though... no need to pay $150 for it, I'd say get a power meter and experiment with intervals and recoveries. Which, btw, will ... raise your vo2.
 

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If you know where your VO2 max is in terms of power, say 250w, training at 250w would provide the most stimulus to increase VO2 max, no? Do they plot VO2 vs power on a VO2 max test? More or less, you could probably train more efficiently if you knew but will it make that big of a difference probably not.
 

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If you do it, it will be a single point of data from a single session.
Data is only good if you continually collect and analyze it.
$150 will buy you one of the following:
* 2-3 11 speed chains
* decent set of bibs
* great meal with the wife/other
* etc
 

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If you do it, it will be a single point of data from a single session.
Data is only good if you continually collect and analyze it.
$150 will buy you one of the following:
* 2-3 11 speed chains
* decent set of bibs
* great meal with the wife/other
* etc

And don't forget the ever so popular go-to-cure-all recommendation on RBR: "bike fitting"
 
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