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).
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 recorded. 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: http://www.runnersweb.com/running/vo2.shtml Kwasi
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 max. 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 recoveries.
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.
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.
Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)