Spin the Google wheel!
VO2 Max doesn't mean anything.
It's an oft-used and little understood term used by grad students to justify to their parents that their efforts and money have not gone to waste. University administrators have been duped by this sciolistic fog-machine, as well. How else could the waste of valuable resources, time and money, be covered-up? Parents and other intelligent, rational thinking adults could not possibly decipher this code. Do not try to yourself. You'll only make yourself look foolish reciting the catechism of the exercise-physio-geeks.
This nascent science of exercise physiology was born out of a failed genetics experiment in the early 60s; the breeding of an economist and a sociologist. The offspring from this pairing would say more and mean less than the combined blather of the two parents put together. Common sense would have told us how this experiment would have ended, but stubborn researchers pushed ahead, nonetheless.
The only numbers that matter are the ones that you receive at the end of the race. The most important of these is called PLACE, and is represented as an ordinal. A '1' is the best indicator of your performance. If you get a '1' then you've done excellent. It's no small coincidence that '1' is a homophone for 'won'. Other excellent numbers to receive are '2' and '3'. Not nearly as good as a '1', but by tradition and convention the numbers '1', '2' and '3' are deemed to be the 'supreme ordinals'; that is to say, worthy of gold, silver and bronze, and are segregated from the other ordinals. The rest of the ordinals are represented by the formula: n + 1...(to infinity). There is a direct, inverse relationship between ordinal value and its worth. The closer to the supreme ordinals, the better you've done, the closer to infinity, the worse you've done.
One of the other numbers that matters much more than VO2 Max is TIME. TIME is always secondary to PLACE in it's value. Neither PLACE nor TIME are given in the gerbil-wheel lab tests conducted by the exercise-physio-geeks. You will only receive them in the experiment that the real experts call COMPETITION. TIME does not supersede PLACE, but it is a way of comparing the PLACE of two or more experiments from different venues and eras. The juxtaposition of TIME and PLACE is the business of track statisticians, who, by the way, are also the progeny from the aforementioned failed genetics experiment.
Physicists have proven, through complex mathematical machinations, that it is physically impossible for VO2Max to supersede either TIME or PLACE. Richard Feynman once said, "VO2Max and five bucks will get you a cup of joe at Starbucks."
So far, in the history of sports, not one award has ever been given, nor has there been remuneration for, VO2Max results.
Long ago, TIME was measured as a fraction of the earth's rotation in base 60: hours, minutes and seconds. It's still expressed as such, however, the predecessors to the exercise-physio-geeks have determined that TIME should now be measured in terms of the vibration frequency of irradiated Cesium atoms. Your watch has quartz crystals in it that will simulate this experiment for you (without the attendant radiation and disposal problems) and convert the results automatically, presenting them to you in the form of easily recognizable numerical glyphs. No complicated formulae to memorize!
There are many other factors that are much more indicative of athletic performance, or the potential for performance, than VO2 max. I couldn't possibly begin to list them all: height, weight, hair color, skin color, shoe size, favorite TV show...the list is endless.