A 15 minute time trial gives the material to calculate VO2 max to within 5 percent. From "Running Dialogue" by 31 minute 10K runner David Holt.

Maximum Oxygen Uptake Capacity is the amount of oxygen we can breath in one minute while working at full capacity. Itís a measure of fitness expressed in milliliters per kilogram per minute. In the research lab. this is measured at a treadmill speed of 11.3 kilometers per hour. During the first five minutes, the treadmill is raised two degrees per minute (to 10 degrees). Thereafter, it is raised one degree for every minute, until the athlete is unable to maintain 11.3 km/hour.
200-600 meter intervals for VO2 max, go to

10 interval running sessions for the first timer and experienced runner. From strides and 200s...to half miles and 1,000s at 5K pace.
Marathon down to 5K at www.runningbook.com

The cheap alternative for real athletes.

VO2 Maximum Prediction / Calculation: Runners VO2 Max predicted to 95 percent

	VO2 max can be predicted with 95 percent accuracy by getting a
group to run around a track on a windless day for exactly 15 min¨
utes. The distance run to the nearest 25 meters is noted, and Bruno
Balkeís formula is used to predict VO2 max. After a base of 6.5,
this follows a linear pattern of 5 mls.kg.min. for every extra 400
meters covered. For example, if 10 laps is run (4,000 meters), it
predicts 56.5 mls.kg.min. If 11 laps, or 4,400 m is run, VO2 max is
56.5 plus 5 = 61.5. Twelve laps (4,800) will be 61.5 + 5 = 66.5.
World class runners have a figure of 80 (male) and 70 (female).

For those who runo about 15:37 for 5K, (about 15 minutes for 4,800 meters) the VO2 max is 66.5.

Thanks to Tim Grose for this e-mail

Some runners asked me to post details of the Balke Test which is a way of
estimating your VO2 Max.

Basically you ran for 15 minutes as hard as you can around a measured
course and note how far you run. It doesn't have to be at a track but that
is probably the best place as you don't want your distance affected by
hills or uneven surfaces.

You then use the following formula to work out the predicted VO2 Max:

(Speed - 133) * 0.172 + 33.3

Speed is the average speed of your 15 minute run in metres per minute. To
work this out divide the distance you ran in metres by 15.

Some check values:
4000 metres, VO2 Max estimate 56.3 ml/kg/min
4500, 62.0
5000, 67.8

The reference for this is Obsession for Running by Frank Horwill. However I
somewhat sceptical of this formula at very high performances levels as to
achieve a VO2 Max of 80 (common value for world-class athletes) one would
have to run over 6000 metres (i.e. faster than 12:30 pace for 5K) which is
clearly out of reach of anyone yet VO2 Max values in the 80s have been

To measure VO2 Max exactly you need to get it measured in a lab - they
actually measure how much air you are inhaling/expelling.

This formula from Frank's book is slightly different to
David'd above, and produces marginally different results.

Tim Grose, until recently, editor of the
BMC News, and a regular attendee at sessions held by Frank Horwill at
Battersea Park.

Also, thanks to Kwansi Adomako Bosa.

Using Jack Daniels book, 
Distance Run Predicted VO2 max. Approx. time for 5k

6000 meters 80.0 mls/kg/min 12:30
5600 meters 75.0 mls/kg/min 13:24
5200 meters 70.0 mls/kg/min 14:25
4800 meters 65.5 mls/kg/min 15:37
4400 meters 61.0 mls/kg/min 17:03
4000 meters 56.5 mls/kg/min 18:45

There is a really good VO2 max. calculator for various distances on this 
page also:



How do you improve VO2 max

	The best way to improve VO2 max is to run between 80 and 100
percent of VO2 max. One hundred percent equals the athleteís 3k
pace; 95 % equals 5 k speed; 90 % is 10k speed; and 80 percent
equals his steady running pace which is between 20-25 seconds per
400 meters slower than for each 400 m of his best 1500 meter time.
Thus, an athlete with a 4 minute 1500, runs it at 64 secs per 400;
his steady running should be between 64 + 20 and 64 + 25 or 5:36
to 5:56 per mile. Anything slower will not be at 80 percent VO2
	Work physiologists believe training at 95 % VO2 max brings the
best results, although one Russian physiologist of note--Karibosk,
thinks 100 % (3 k or two mile pace) is better because it tunes up
the anaerobic pathway. Note--3,000 m is run at 60 % aerobic and
40 % anaerobic.

	Physiologists are agreed the percentages at the higher level (100
- 95 %) should be done for 3-5 minutesí duration, repeated many
times in one session, with a short recovery; and the lower percent¨
ages (90 - 80 %) should be for 10-20 minutes, also with short

The same applies with cross training for running. Do 2-4 minute surges on the bicycle, or 150 to 250 meter intervals when swimming.

Does it matter what your VO2 max is.

Not really. World records have been run by people with high 60s value, beating out the mid 80s runners. It is all about running efficiency and economy.

But, doing interval training will improve your VO2 max WHILE also improving your running economy.

Don't worry about the VO2 max numbers.

Run 2 mile pace to improve your 5k time; Run at Five k pace for 10k. And always remember your 15k pace running sessions. Your VO2 will improve as your times come down: But mostly, it will be your running efficiency which has improved with it, which allows you to maintain a certain pace longer...to run PRs.

The above includes sections from Brittish coach Frank Horwill's contribution to my running books.

Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
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Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)

See 5 mile / 8k distance running training for samples of long reps to run to increase VO2 max
VO2 estimation from a one mile walk test...by Steve Brown, M.S. C.S.C.S USD Strength and Conditioning Coach
VO2 Maximum Training: Short Intervals for all distance runners...5k, 10k, half marathon to marathon
5k training and racing...the first of five pages for the 5k runner
10k training...mileage and strength and access to four other parts of 10k training
Half marathon training...first element...mileage and hills for strength

Book Ordering Information
Copyright David Holt 2,000 Any part, or all of this training material may be quoted or reviewed...provided you acknowledge the source...Running Dialogue and other books by David Holt, this web page or www.runningbook.com, and contact me at holtrun@sprynet.com to let me know the material is being used or reviewed.
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