Improving VO2max – Workouts & Nutrition; Goals for Summer & Rest of 2018 (running, and life)

Apparently the apple health app tracks VO2max & mine has improved. VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen one can use during vigorous exercise. A VO2 max between about 34 and 42 is considered fair and 43 and 51 good. Anything over 51 is excellent.**


I posted the above graphic (snapshots from the health app) because I thought it was a cool stat (an NSV – non-scale victory) that showed an improvement in my fitness level over the last couple of months.  I had quite a few of my insta-friends ask how, and it’s pretty simple but I figured I would dedicate a post to it on here.

ps — If your app doesn’t track VO2max, you can do the 12 minute test, which is described here!

From the time of the marathon in December until early March, I essentially took a break from working out.  Sure, I was  jogging and  did yoga but my heart rate didn’t really go above the 130s and my steps averaged about 10,000-12,000/day.


At the beginning of April, my body finally felt like it was ready to go again.  It’s hard to describe unless you’ve done a marathon, but it really takes a lot out of you.  Going into the marathon, I was doing 60-70miles/week (high for me at that time) and also doing 30minutes of insanity/plyos or lifting 4-5 days a week, in addition to teaching middle school full-time.


I ran PR’s in all my races last year (including a 3:06 marathon) but I think my body hit it’s limit and even went a little further (if that’s possible) and it NEEDED the recovery.  With that recovery, my fitness level definitely dropped over the winter.  As I started adding miles in early April, I was struggling with anything  over 4-5miles — as in needing walking breaks frequently.  How had I run 26 miles straight in December?!  It was a little dis-heartening! But I kept at it, and also started doing the T25 workouts which I’ve decided are my favorites of the ShaunT programs in the Beachbody App.

My Current Training & Nutrition:

Over the past 2 months, I’ve gradually upped my miles to where I am doing 50 miles/week the last 3 weeks (average of 7 miles a day), and I am doing a T25 each day – either a speed workout, strength, or stretch/mobility workout. I do stretch a minimum of 5-10min every day (this is key to staying healthy long term).




Going back to doing macros has also helped.  I was doing a modified version of keto with daily 16-20hours of fasting during my 4-month break.  I’ve posted a bit about macros and how I’m front-loading my days which seems to really REALLY help. As long as I stay gluten-free, the sound sensitivity (misophonia) seems to be kept at bay, which is great!


I also tried doing the celery juice thing, but was not sold on it. I’d prefer to just eat the celery, so I’m doing that instead.  There’s still a lot of benefits (maybe not as many as the juice), but I enjoy getting to eat the food vs drink calories.



Looking ahead:

I’m considering doing a couple of half marathons this fall again, but I want to be sure I handle the “training load” better this time around so I’m using this summer as an experiment to see how my body handles it.


I have set myself up with 21-day training cycles (they are about 60ish miles/wk) for the next 2 months.  After each 21-day cycle, I plan to do an easy week where I scale it back to a week of easy runs (less mileage) and no speed workouts – just T25 weight workouts (strength) and T25 Stretch and some Youtube Yoga for RunnersI think taking a solid week of “active recovery” each month will help me long-term – mentally and physically.


I think Nike is also really excited about this..  She actually is a great training buddy & makes running the track a lot more fun ( I can let her off the leash there and she sprints in front of me and then stops to look back and wait for me to catch up!)


  • God First, then Family, then Training.
    • I think each person has their own way of prioritizing, and this is something personal to me.  God and I know what this would look like for me, and I plan to live congruently with that belief to my best ability.
  • Improve my VO2max (my goal is to hit 55-60)
    • – just continuing to do what I’ve been doing and said above … I’ve never tracked this before, so I’m not quite sure what my “excellent” level is, but I want to find out.
  • Improve my Chi Running Form!


  • Focus on feeling good & energetic in real life
    • don’t exceed daily macros
    • — if working out starts taking away energy from my work/wife-ing/family, then I will step back and re-assess my training goals
  • Take unscheduled recovery days as needed
    • – my training schedule is not strict; yes, I have a tentative plan for the 21days, but I don’t really decide what I’ll be doing until the night before or morning of (unless I’ve planned out a run with a friend), so if I’m having a rough week, I will not be afraid to take 1-2 days off …
    • btw: I do have 3 of the 21 days scheduled as yoga/recovery days already
  • Finally, if I do race, the goal is to relax and do my best.
    • I have a couple of time goals written out, but they’re not my main objective – they are just kind of a visualization that gives me a little spark when I look at my training cycle calendar.

I’m planning to make my insta more of just my training log, so you can follow me there to see my daily workouts!  I’m going to use my blog for more of my life musings, macros stuff, recipes, and progress updates 🙂 .



HAVE a great day everyone!




2 thoughts on “Improving VO2max – Workouts & Nutrition; Goals for Summer & Rest of 2018 (running, and life)

  1. I know I already mentioned this, but I’m not at all sold on celery juice being a magic elixir of health. In fact, all the benefits listed for celery juice are true of raw celery too. I think the reason people jump all over celery juice is it’s got the health halo, it’s new and sexy, and people just don’t like eating raw celery (I actually love it).

    Great goals! I’m learning every day how important it is to listen to your body. It’s hard to do sometimes, but will be so beneficial in the long term!

    Liked by 1 person

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