The Importance of Pace and Pacing While Running and Training to Run #5

Ellena Arroyo

VO2 Max Development

VO2 Max Development is achieved at 98% of Velocity at VO2 Max.  Put more simply this is short fast interval training to create top end running speed.  The VO2Max Pace can be roughly measured as your running pace during a 2 mile time trial at maximal effort.  VO2 Max pace is very fast and very hard, so it can be very uncomfortable to run at this pace for any length of time.   Running at this fast pace pushes the body to further withstand the adverse effects of Lactic Acid Buildup and also creates mental toughness while running under duress.

At VO2Max Development pace your body is going into serious oxygen debt, and your muscles are pumping out Lactic Acid at an alarming rate.  Your body cannot begin to clear all the Lactate away so your muscles and lungs scream at you to quit running and it starts to become a very mental game.  Because Lactic Acid is actually a poison, the body will begin to reject it, and vomiting may occur after prolonged efforts or repeated intervals at the VO2 Max Pace.  It’s also possible to pass out because of lack of oxygen after your muscles steal it all away from your brain.  If this all sounds a little extreme, then you’ve probably never run hard enough to experience it, but it will happen. 

VO2 Max Development should be done very sparingly and is so intense that a good warm up before and cool down afterward are essential.  No more than 1 or 2 of these workouts should be done per week except under close observation by an experienced coach.  Too much running at this high of an effort too often can quickly lead to injury and chronic fatigue.  It is recommended that an easy recovery run of 20 – 40 minutes at Aerobic Pace be run the day after such an effort is performed.  VO2Max Development is most useful for 400 meter runners up to 10k, but not recommended very often for marathon training because of the risk of injury and decreased need for top end speed.

Next On the List Running Economy Intervals…

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