What is METmax value?

Metabolic equivalent, MET, is a unit that describes the human performance. In other words, the METmax means maximal oxygen consumption. 1 MET is equals to the oxygen consumption of human sitting at rest. The METmax value can be expressed also as VO2max value. 1 MET equals to the VO2 value of 3,5 ml/kg/min. For example if your METmax value is 12 you can convert it to VO2max value with following formula: 12 x 3,5 = 42 ml/kg/min. You can read more about the fitness level and VO2max here.

More information about METmax can also be found from Athlete from your measurement's METmax tab by clicking the [?] button (see the picture below):

Why is the METmax value lower when running in the forest than on road?

Running in the forest the surface is soft and you often need to work harder to advance the same distance than on hard surface. Because heart rate and oxygen consumption are higher in the forest than on the road, the efficiency decreases and so does the fitness level (METmax) value.

Why Athlete does not give METmax value from each workout?

Athlete can calculate the METmax value only from running exercises that include enough reliable measurement data. Calculation needs at least 4 minutes of continuous heart rate and speed data. Besides this the heart rate needs to reach a so called steady-state where heart rate does not rise rapidly anymore but has settled down to a level over 70% of maximal heart rate. Heart rate should remain in this level for whole exercise.

If there is not enough heart rate and speed data, or the data has too much variation or the quality is poor, METmax calculation is not possible. For example METmax cannot be calculated from interval exercises because the speed varies too much. Athlete also tries to identify the running exercises automatically. If the exercise seems to be other than running workout (for example cycling), METmax valuet can not be calculated.

If Athlete incorrectly identifies a measurement to be a running exercise and calculates the incorrect METmax value from it (usually too high), remove the selection from "METmax follow-up" column. By doing so the incorrect value does not distort your actual fitness level.

Why do the METmax value from each exercise vary a lot but the fitness level remains relatively constant?

METmax estimate can vary between different running exercises because the daily variation in performance is natural. Environmental factors, such as strong head- or tailwind, or hard or soft surface, also affect to how much you need to put effort to run a certain distance. Physical factors, such as fatigue and illnesses, also affect to the results.

The green line, fitness level, is weighted based on how reliable estimate of the fitness level has been obtained from each exercise. If the quality of heart rate or speed data is poor or the measurement is very short, the reliability of the result decreases and the measurement's impact to fitness level (green line) is very small.

Can the fitness level be estimated also from other than running exercises?

Fitness level estimation in Athlete can be done only from running measurements. Athlete tries to identify running exercises from other measurements automatically. If you still get METmax value from some other than running exercise, remove the selection from METmax follow-up column of this measurement. This way you avoid mistakes in fitness level estimation.