Our expert says:
The heart rate is definitely an error - there's no doubt about that. And you can't reference it, you just have to speculate that the erratic behaviour and the sudden changes to an unphysiological heart rate are a sign of technical problems.
As for the VO2max, the other possibility is that your calibration procedures were incorrect, which would also explain the high RER to begin with and at the end. Remember how you define RER, and that will tell you that it's either that the CO2 was being over-read or the oxygen under. Again, this might be a mask problem.
Just remember that in science, you very rarely KNOW the cause, so you can't write "The mask was loose". You can speculate and suggest possible causes, but especially when it comes to technical issues, it's difficult to say definitively what the problem was. But I strongly suspect that the mask probably slipped off allowing air to escape - you may want to look at the volumes for that - the minue ventilation is the best one there - did that drop midway through the test? And there is a question on the calibration. Unfortunately, we have to trust our equipment, and that makes this a bit of a 'sell-out', but considering it's your first exposure to the technique, it's a reasonable suggestion. Remember, the motivation for these things (and hence your referencing) is always that it's an unphysiological - if you can't explain something with physiology, then technical/equipment problems are likely explanations.
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