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HOW TO RACE SMARTER WITH VO2 CALORIE EXPENDITURE TESTING

HOW TO RACE SMARTER WITH VO2 CALORIE EXPENDITURE TESTING

HOW TO RACE SMARTER WITH VO2 CALORIE EXPENDITURE TESTING

 

The first two rules of endurance sports that I share with my athletes come directly from the mouth of Craig Alexander (3x Ironman World Champion, 2x Ironman 70.3 World Champion). The first: “Don’t get injured. Don’t get sick.” And the second: “Use all available tests to help you succeed.” This is where Playtri excels at coaching. We know that success in endurance sports requires consistent and intelligent training, so for the past 20+ years Playtri has been offering performance testing that gives athletes and their Playtri coach the knowledge of how to best train and race.

 

My favorite performance test is a Vo2 Calorie Expenditure Test for the bike and run. This is my favorite because, when done in conjunction with Blood Lactate Testing, it gives us a ton of usable data that can be used to inform the type of training we need to become faster and also the pacing we need to have for race day. The Vo2 Calorie Expenditure Test helps eliminate a lot of guesswork and assumptions that we make about how hard we need to train or how hard we need to go on race day, allowing us to keep things simple and systematic.

 

The Vo2 Calorie Expenditure Test really is one of our secret weapons for long-course athletes and any athlete looking to modify body composition or improve their nutrition and recovery practices. The test takes place in our Dallas store and lasts approximately 30 minutes. From that 30-minute test, we learn how many calories an athlete burns in an hour at any given heart rate for either the bike or the run. More importantly, it also tells us how many of those calories burned come from carbohydrates or fat.

 

With this knowledge, your coach can tailor your training to help you become more metabolically efficient (using more fat than carbs at lower heart rate levels) if needed and prescribe appropriate heart rate pacing and nutritional goals for race day. In addition, if you are a long-course athlete and the test data shows that you are carbohydrate dependent, it may be appropriate to work with a nutritionist to adjust the quality of your food intake to become more metabolically efficient.

 

As a Playtri coach and coached athlete who has been both the test subject and tester, I have seen the impact this test can have. This test, in conjunction with Blood Lactate Testing, helped me and my coach put together a solid training plan and pacing strategies for races over the past two years that have helped me to qualify for both the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2022 and the Ironman World Championship in 2023. As a coach, I have used this test to inform training plans and race strategies for long-course triathletes, gravel cyclists, randonneurs, and ultra-marathoners.

 

To schedule a Vo2 Calorie Expenditure Test and learn about our other performance testing, you can follow this link: https://www.playtri.com/testing/, And if you have any questions about anything in this article or are interested in learning about different coaching options, please reach out to me at jim.rowe@playtri.com. Happy training and racing this year!

 

 

 

Jim Rowe is a Playtri Level 4 Coach and Coach Education Lead, a USAT LI Certified Coach, an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and an Ironman and 70.3 World Championship Qualifier who works with adult athletes of all abilities from beginners to IRONMAN World Championship qualifiers. Learn more about Jim at www.playtri.com/jim-rowe.

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