VO2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can consume during intense exercise. It is a key indicator of cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and it can be used to measure and improve running performance. VO2 max is measured in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml/kg/min).

The higher the VO2 max, the more oxygen the body can consume and use during exercise, which translates to better endurance and performance. VO2 max can be improved through proper training, such as interval training, tempo runs, and other high-intensity workouts. Improving VO2 max can lead to better running performance, increased endurance, and improved cardiovascular health.

To summarise, VO2 max is a crucial fitness metric in running and aerobic sports, indicating the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise. It's a key marker of cardiorespiratory fitness.


  • Oxygen Utilization: Measures your body's ability to absorb, transport, and utilize oxygen during exercise.
  • Higher VO2 Max: Indicates better aerobic fitness, allowing for more intense and longer exercise without fatigue.


  • Involves a lab test with increasing exercise intensity while wearing a mask that measures oxygen consumption.
  • The test ends when you can't sustain the workload, and your oxygen consumption levels off, marking your VO2 max.


  • Influenced by genetics, age, overall fitness, and training habits.
  • Can be improved through regular aerobic exercises like running, cycling, and swimming.


  • Beyond Performance: A high VO2 max is linked to lower risks of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
  • Mental and Cognitive Health: Good aerobic fitness can enhance brain function and mental well-being.


  • VO2 max is not the sole indicator of running performance. Success in running can be achieved even with a lower VO2 max, as other factors like biomechanics and mental strength also play significant roles.

In summary, VO2 max is an essential indicator of your aerobic fitness level. Improving your VO2 max through regular exercise not only enhances your running performance but also contributes to overall health and wellness. However, it's just one piece of the fitness puzzle, with many other factors influencing your running capabilities.


VO2 max can be measured in several ways, including:

  1. Lab Testing: The most accurate method involves wearing a mask that measures incoming and outgoing air while running on a treadmill. This test is usually conducted in a sports science lab or by a healthcare professional.
  2. Submaximal Tests: Submaximal tests, such as the 1-mile jog test, can provide an estimate of VO2 max. These tests involve running at a submaximal intensity for a set distance or time, and the results are used to calculate VO2 max.
  3. Field Testing: Field tests, such as running for 8 minutes at the maximum intensity level that can be sustained, can be used to estimate VO2 max. These tests are less accurate than lab testing but can still provide useful information.
  4. vVO2 Max Testing: This involves running for 30 seconds at your vVO2 max, which is the speed at which you were running when you hit your maximum heart rate on the treadmill. Running at vVO2 max can help improve leg-muscle strength and power.

It's important to note that while field and submaximal tests can provide estimates of VO2 max, lab testing is the most accurate method. If you're interested in measuring your VO2 max, it's best to consult a healthcare professional or sports scientist to determine the most appropriate testing method for your needs.