A new study, published here, aims to take a look at your fitness to predict your “fitness age” and, ultimately, how fitness will contribute to the length of time that you will live. The researchers found that VO2 Max was a significant factor in determining lifespan. This is music to the ears of distance runners out there.
If you want to find out your “fitness age” visit this website and answer a few simple questions – you’ll get a fitness age result at the end of the process and some tips to improve are on their website.
What is VO2 Max?
VO2 max is a measure of the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen. If this limit is very low then intense exercise will be very difficult to maintain because your muscles will run out of oxygen.
How do you improve your VO2 Max?
Basically any exercise is good for improving your VO2 Max, but research suggests that interval training is the fastest and best way to improve this. Try the following:
30 – 60 second interval training:
- Warm up with a 5 minute jog
- Run at your fastest 1 mile pace for 30 seconds
- Jog for 30 seconds
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have complete 5 sets of hard running / jogging.
Work on this until you are comfortable doing 5 sets and then increase the sets over a number of weeks until you are comfortable running 10 sets.
Now change the interval time to 60 seconds hard running / 60 seconds jogging. Do 5 sets to start and then move up until you can complete 10 over weeks of training.
This will increase your VO2 Max, it should also increase your speed in races as VO2 Max is the most important single factor in determining your running speed.