Stop Being Out of Breath: Get Ready for Summer Hiking by Training Your VO2 Max
As the snow melts away and the green mountainside reveals itself, many are eagerly anticipating hiking the North Shore mountains, including the Grouse Grind. Trail Running is also a popular sport these days with races like the Knee Knacker, Seek the Peak, Grouse Grind Mountain Run and the Iron Lung. You don't have to be an elite athlete to start to train so that you can enjoy these outdoor activities in the summer and early fall.
Your VO2 max level and your speed at VO2 max are strongly related to your ability to climb those hills for hours at a time without fatiguing. Your VO2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen you can use in millimeters per minute per kilogram of body weight.
Willmore and Costhill (2005, Physiology of Sport and Exercise: 3rd Edition) define VO2 max as, “The highest rate of oxygen consumption attainable during maximal or exhaustive exercise.”
For the average non-athlete between 30 to 79 years old, VO2 max is 28 to 48 ml/min/kg for men and 20 to 38 ml/min/kg for women. (Click the link to see a more detailed table that includes athletes)