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Status: Gathering Kudos

Morning All runners ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Suggestion for the moderators/platform designers, would be great if Strava introduced measurement of VO2 Max. HR is currently measured, this could easily be integrated to work out a user's VO2 Max score, and have this split into 4/5 zones, as they do on Samsung Health. This would help me track my progress a lot more and give me more motivation to improve, especially when it's bloody cold like it was this morning๐Ÿ˜‚


Status changed to: Gathering Kudos
Moderator Moderator

Thanks for submitting your idea.
It has been reviewed by our moderation team and is now open to voting.

In the comments below, would you mind giving a brief summary of what VO2 Max is?
In doing so, you could inform those not familiar with the measurement on how this could be beneficial to athlete's if this was added.

Thank you so much for your contribution.

STRAVA | Community Hub Team

Mt. Kenya

VO2 max, or maximal oxygen consumption, refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. This measurement is generally considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. The more oxygen a person can use during high level exercise, the more energy a person can produce. This test is the gold standard for determining cardio-respiratory fitness because the muscles need oxygen for prolonged aerobic exercise, and the heart must pump adequate amounts of blood through the circulation to meet the demands of aerobic exercise.

The test involves either exercising on a treadmill or a bike at an intensity that increases every few minutes until exhaustion, and is designed to achieve a maximal effort. They also obtain the individualโ€™s maximal heart rate from this test, which, along with resting heart rate, can be used to develop a more precise target heart rate range. This is more accurate than age-predicted equations. Thus, the subject leaves the lab with an excellent idea of his/her current fitness level and also how to use this information to improve fitness.


Strave has an option where you can personally adjust your max heart rate. which is nice, but maybe they could allow for more details/data to be inserted onto Strava based on the individual's own score/info after such a test to track more accurate progress.

Pico de Orizaba

This is a good idea in general, but most athletes who actually care about VO2 Max are already using a device such as a Garmin with that feature. If Strava adds their own VO2 Max metric then the results for some users will inevitably be different from the Garmin (FirstBeat Analytics) metric, and then they'll complain and argue about the discrepancy.

Mt. Kenya

But would it not be great if you could manually insert your results from your vo2max test into Strava so that their own Vo2max metric is adjusted to your data? i don't have a Garmin or sportwatch, my heart rate monitor chest strap connects directly with Stava. so I have a very accurate heart rate measurement, now I just need to sync my VO2max into Strava and that would be all I need!


This is a good idea also provide guidance on how to improve it to the max


I think that would be a nice metric to import from Garmin etc if available or to calculate one if metrics are available. 

Mt. Kenya

This is a nice idea and certainly can be useful as a way to track progress but people should know that the values estimated by other programs (eg Garmin, which I use) are often so inaccurate that they are not representative of VO2 max at all. My experience with the Garmin VO2 max value, derived in my case exclusively from chest strap HRM data, is that it is off by about 50% from the result I get in a lab test. Personally I think the Garmin race time predictors are a much better way to track progress. Though if the implied VO2 max metric could somehow be calibrated by manually inputting lab test VO2 max data as someone suggests above, that would be very interesting.


Some good views on the VO2 Max accuracy from our community. Given that the running watches could really be giving an estimate and not completely accurate. Then syncing your watch to strava could also mean that the results will be inaccurate. For instance, those who have a HR monitor give the same feedback that the results are extremely different. We therefore need to think about this further before any action can be taken.


My Garmins consistently underestimate my VO2max by 7 or 8 ml/min/kg compared to my lab tests on the treadmill with an oxygen mask.

Garmin: 55. Lab test: 63; using Garmin's number would ruin any race or training cycle.

Garmin's VO2max guesstimate is just as misleading as the infamous "maxHR = 220- age" myrh.

Letting users add their own lab test VO2max and max heart rate is a good idea, letting Strava guesstimate wildly inaccurate data the way Garmin does is not. That will only push lots of people into running in the wrong training zones just because an app tells 'em to.

Strava should fix its fitness score first. That number has nothing to do with fitness.

Mt. Kenya

@Rogier  well said! my thoughts exactly. it's why i don't use a Garmin as a middleman but have a chest strap, which is more accurate, directly linked to Strava. but then Strava still needs to interpret the data correctly. we can already adjust our max heart rate on our Strava account, but if Strava would allow for more relevant data/metrics to be inserted based on our personal Vo2max test results that, would be great.

Mt. Kenya

I love this feature in Apple Health from Apple Watch. I personally don't care about accuracy as long as it's consistent. An indicator that your cardio health in improving or declining over time is very valuable. I wish it would estimate V02 while cycling; as it only works on run or walk actives. I'm not a runner so I just go for a 2 mile walk once a week soley to get that number.