Archive for January 6, 2009

Physiological Testing Versus Performance Testing

Posted in Random Thoughts, Training on January 6, 2009 by mboyle1959

I have a confession to make. I hate physiological testing. VO2 Max Tests make me angry. Physiological testing is most often, in the words of my friend Paul Robbins, a test of what an athlete “might” do. I like performance related tests. Lets pick a task and all do it. Whoever goes the longest, or the fastest is in the best shape. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to deal with angry and upset athletes after the results of a physiological test are posted. The complaint is always the same. “I’m in much better shape than him/her. Why did they score higher?” I could never give an honest answer because what I wanted to say was “don’t worry, those tests are a stupid waste of time”. The truth is that at Boston University we ran correlations and not one performance related test correlated to a physiological test. In other words, a VO2 test did not correlate to any performance test we did, even endurance tests. A hose and a gas analyzer can’t measure heart or desire, it can only measure gas. We have found that when the race starts gas is often just a lot of hot air.