An Evaluation of Time-Trial–Based Predictions of VO2max and Recommended Training Paces for Collegiate and Recreational Runners

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Abstract

Scudamore, EM, Barry, VW, and Coons, JM. An Evaluation of time-trial–based predictions of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and recommended training paces for collegiate and recreational runners. J Strength Cond Res 32(4): 1137–1143, 2018—The purpose of the current study was to determine the accuracy of Jack Daniels' VDOT Running Calculator for the prediction of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, and recommendations of interval and training paces (pIN and pTH) in samples of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 track athletes (ATH, n = 11) and recreational runners (REC; n = 9). Predicted variable data were obtained using results from indoor 5-km time-trials. Data from the VDOT Calculator were compared with laboratory-tested V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, pace at V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (V[Combining Dot Above]O2maxpace), and lactate threshold pace (LTpace). Results indicated that VDOT underestimated V[Combining Dot Above]O2max in ATH (t(10) = −6.00, p < 0.001, d = 1.75) and REC (t(8) = −8.96, p < 0.001, d = 3.44). Follow-up between-groups analysis indicated that the difference between VDOT and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max was significantly greater in REC than in ATH (p = 0.0031, d = 1.59). pIN was slower than V[Combining Dot Above]O2maxpace in REC (t(8) = −4.26, p = 0.003, d = 1.76), but not different in ATH (t(10) = 0.52, p = 0.614, d = 0.14). Conversely, pTH was faster than LTpace in ATH (t(8) = −4.17, p = 0.003, d = 1.49), but not different in REC (t(8) = 1.64, p = 0.139, d = 0.57). Practically, pTH can be confidently used for threshold training regardless of the ability level. pIN also seemed to be accurate for ATH, but may be not be optimal for improving V[Combining Dot Above]O2max in REC. Practitioners should interpret VDOT with caution as it may underestimate V[Combining Dot Above]O2max.

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