VO2 max training and lactate threshold sets measures your ability to sustain high rates of energy expenditure without being limited by fatigue and the amount of oxygen your muscles can extract from your bloodstream until you reach maximum oxygen consumption. The harder you exercise the more oxygen you will use until you’ve reached your max oxygen consumption. This is your V02 max. The higher your VO2 max the higher your endurance level and speed capacity. The lower your VO2 max, the lower your endurance capacity and speed endurance capacity.


Nutrient dense foods

nutrient dense foods

 I believe that as swimmers we take your diet for granted. We think that we swim so much anything we eat will just get burned off in the pool. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Our body is not interested in how much calories we can consume. Our bodies are interested in getting the right nutrients. Our body is looking for foods high in nutrients or nutrient dense foods. So, when you’re faced with a VO2 challenge set or a lactate threshold set and you reach that feeling of “hitting the wall” that is your bodies way of saying that you are depleted of nutrients. It’s like driving a car on empty. You’re not going to go anywhere.

Below I have provided you with some suggestions of foods/snacks that you can incorporate into your daily diet to get more dense nutrients. These foods are what I use to get myself ready for a long training section. Who said eating healthy can’t taste good.



Walnuts & Pumpkin seeds:

I combine walnuts and pumpkin seeds with raisins, put it in a baggy and have it as a snack throughout the day. Walnuts contains 9 kcal per gram vs carbs which only has 4 kcal per gram. It also contains quite a rich amount of omega 3 and is a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids. This is the healthy fats that your body needs. This is a power pack snack that you can eat at any time. 




Graze snacks:

As a swimmer, I have always found it difficult to find healthy snacks to eat in general. If I wanted something healthy and I was in a rush I had to make it myself. Which was a hassle. So, I decided to do some searching to healthy snacks that I could just pick up and go when I am a rush. In my search, I found this website called GRAZE. They have lots of healthy snacks which taste great as well. I am in no way gaining money from promoting  GRAZE. I just really like there product. 





We all know the importance of hydration. I am not going to go into too much detail here because I have written another blog about this already. However, dehydration could negatively affect your performance and slow down your recovery time during a vo2 challenge set. Be properly hydrated. I recommend drink vitamin water instead of Gatorade. Gatorade has become like any other sugar base beverage and will not help you during training. You can find vitamin water at any grocery store near you.


1 day Carbo-Load

The morning of a vo2 challenge set I usually consume a lot of pasta. This is to top up my glycogen stores. A full supply of glycogen stores provides anywhere from 1,400-1800 calories of fuel. This is enough to last anywhere between 1-3 hours of moderate exercise. VO2 is a super intense exercise so this is where the walnuts, pumpkin seeds and raisin come in handy. This provides you with all the healthy fats which your body will rely on once you have used up all your glycogen stores during intense training. I don’t recommend having pasta at night because your body tends to store energy that it is not going to used immediately. This can cause you to gain weight over a period. Don’t forget to click the notification button. 


Don’t forget to follow be on twitter at @ESS_Elite and tap the notification button to get notified when my next article is out. Until next time. 


– Caryle 

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