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Effective VO2max: When should I exclude an activity for VO2max shape?

Runalyze estimates for you the Effective VO2max from non-maximal training performances based on the ratio of heart rate and speed. Of course, this estimation is not always accurate, because heart rate depends on many other parameters. Breaks, uphill/downhill, difficult ground conditions, running drills, ... there are numerous possibilities why the estimate of a single workout could be off and in this case you should disable the workout for calculating your shape. You can do so by editing the activity and unchecking "VO2max for shape".

Possible reasons to exclude an activity

Whenever the relationship between heart rate and pace is disturbed by whatever, this can lead to an error in the estimate of Effective VO2max. As soon as this disturbance is significant and has a noticeable effect on the average values, the activity should be excluded for the shape calculation.

  • (A lot of) Stops: If you stop the watch and continue running only after a relaxed break, your heart rate will initially be significantly lower than after a few minutes at a constant pace.
  • Very short runs: For very short runs, the effect of low heart rate at the beginning of the activity is too great.
  • Very long runs: For very long runs, the effect of aerobic decoupling is too great.
  • Trail runs or a lot of uphill/downhill: Runalyze takes into account ascents and descents when estimating Effective VO2max. However, it cannot take into account the difficulty of the terrain, especially for technical trails.
  • Running drills or similar: If you do running drills and keep the watch running, the heart rate will be significantly higher and the pace will be significantly lower.

There are, of course, numerous other reasons. In general, you should exclude an activity if the estimated Effective VO2max differs from your shape by more than 5 points.

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