Does anyone have any good suggestions on where one can go to get this kind of testing done. And does anyone have any suggestions on which kinds of "performance" testing I should do? I have never done a VO2 Max test or any of the other testing that one can do but I would really like to incorperate it into my training program. Any thoughts or recommendations would be great.
check out the DC tri partners. There are a few places in the area that can do it.
You can also do a fair bit of your own functional threshold 'field' testing. I'm no coach, but I suspect these would inform your training program (setting pace, zones, etc.) more than a vo2max test. Maybe some of our coaches could chime in here.
I've run lots of VO2max test over the years (nearing a PhD in kinesiology) & have also started coaching - and I've really come to believe that knowing your max VO2 isn't very critical to your training. As a triathlete, I think there's more practical value to be gained doing field assessments in each of the three disciplines (as Jason suggested).
For one, it's highly unlikely your max HR running will be the same as your maximal HR swimming, or even biking. So, if you're looking to establish HR zones, a single VO2 test in the lab isn't very helpful. More importantly, there are lots of run/bike/swim field tests you can use to determine these zones. Also know that your VO2 "max" value will be different across the three sports - with the highest value almost guaranteed to be on the run.
That said, knowing your VO2 max can still be beneficial in terms of establishing a baseline value to compare your aerobic gains over the season, year, etc. You'd just want to give some thought as to if you wanted to do it on the treadmill, trainer, or pay for both. The max test can also tell you apx when you cross your anaerobic threshold - and where your HR is when you do. To me, this is more valuable than knowing the actual VO2max value. The dirty truth is that even pinning your threshold value in a lab is about 70% science and 30% art. and, again - you can get pretty close to determining your HR at threshold without a lab test.
Love talking about this stuff (and teach it!), so feel free to e-mail me with other questions -- or if anyone is still looking for a coach! :)
lastly....good lookin' Ridgeback.