What does your Vo2 say about you? Not much at all!
If you think your Vo2 is the be-all and end-all when it comes to athletic performance, think again. While Vo2 testing can tell a coach a lot about an athlete, there are many other factors at play when it comes to achieving peak performance.
For example, if your numbers are still climbing as you hit your Vo2, that could indicate that you haven't actually achieved your max potential yet. It's possible that you don't have the muscles to push yourself as hard as you're genetically able to. Similarly, motivation can play a big role in your performance, and a burst of inspiration can help you achieve more than you thought possible.
While there is some absolute value in Vo2 Max as a measure of your body's maximal ability to take in and use oxygen, it's more important to consider your ability to sustain various levels of your Vo2 Max. Think of it like a paper cup with a hole in the bottom - the size of the cup represents your genetic potential or your Vo2 Max, while the size of the hole represents your body's ability to use oxygen effectively. While the size of the cup is hard to change, the size of the hole is very trainable, and improving your ability to use oxygen effectively can have a big impact on your performance.
It's also important to consider your body's ability to use fat as an effective fuel source and where your breakpoint is. This is especially important for long course athletes. Ultimately, if you invest in a Vo2 test, it's important to understand what you're trying to find and how you want to use that data. The testing protocols can vary significantly depending on your goals and desired outcomes.
At the end of the day, while Vo2 Max can provide some useful information, it's just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to athletic performance. If you want tips on tests or help analyzing your results, it's always a good idea to work with a knowledgeable coach who can help you make sense of the data and develop a training plan that will help you achieve your goals.