Modest VO2-max talent: how to proceed?

Hi all,

I started doing a MV plan on TR in September for the build up towards this summer. After doing SSB1 + 2, i’m now halfway through Sustained PB and I’ve seen some nice results and increases in FTP i.e. 284 - 295 - 305 - 307 W FTP for 71 kg. Although gains aren’t as big as they used to be in the beginning, I learned from the forum that this is perfectly normal.

I know these figures are quite good, but they’re not mindblowing. But it’s come to my attention that maybe VO2-max is where my ‘edge’ lies, if I can be this bold. A little bit of history: 5 years ago, I performed a test where I reached 60 ml/kg. I just started cycling back then and the doctor assured me that this was a very good result. The years after, I kept doing my miles, but 2020 was the first year I started cycling in a consistent way.

I also underwent a DNA-test with (got it as a present!), which pointed out i have the gene to respond well to VO2-max trainability. Lastly, Garmin Connect currently estimates my VO2-max at around 70 ml/kg. Although surely not 100% accurate, I consider it as a ball park figure.

Every bit of text on the internet points out that these are very decent figures to exercise endurance sports, but I’m not sure where to go from here. How should I interpret these figures in the bigger picture of current FTP, potential gains of FTP and possible implementation of training schedules?

Can bigger increases or a higher potential be expected with this kind of VO2 Max figure and the right kind of training, or is it not correlated in that way and is VO2 max just a parameter among those other parameters like FTP? Will it take longer to reach the dreaded plateau, and what kind of effect will have more voluminous training have with this kind of VO2-max?

In a nutshell: If I have a decent VO2 max value, in what way will it be most advantageous in my performance?



Maybe the potential for a larger FTP?

Then again, cyclist Oskar Svendsen had the highest ever recorded VO2max — ~97 ml/kg — never cracked the top ranks because he lacked in other areas. Moral of the story: big VO2 doesn’t guarantee big results.


No one cares about your VO2max. Push pedals. Learn to push pedals harder. Fin.


My wko numbers are identical (ftp and vo2 max) to Alison Tetrick. But I will not win DK:) High vo2 max means that you have room for your FTP and nothing more. There are too many other variables to draw any other conclusions.

I managed an FTP of 304W at 66.3kg, my INSCYD test also revealed a VO2Max of 72ml/min/kg (also a VLaMax of 0.67mmol/l/min). My Garmin idicates 70ml/min/kg at the moment.

I think it just means the ceiling is high enough to reach a really good level (similar to elites without contract as they’re called in Belgium) but like the others have said, that doesn’t mean you’ll reach that high level. I think VLaMax is an important metric to know, combined with what your goals are that will likely give you all the info you need on how to structure your training. I focus on Olympic to half distance tri so in my case with the high VLaMax, it’s important to try to reduce it with sweet spot work, low cadance work, fasted rides, etc. While sprintability is nice for the occasional group ride, or punching up short hills, but for me it’s less useful.