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A New Short Track Test to Estimate the VO2max and Maximal Aerobic Speed in Well-Trained Runners

Pallarés, Jesús G.; Cerezuela-Espejo, Víctor; Morán-Navarro, Ricardo; Martínez-Cava, Alejandro; Conesa, Elena; Courel-Ibáñez, Javier

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p 1216–1221
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003121
Original Research

Pallarés, JG, Cerezuela-Espejo, V, Morán-Navarro, R, Martínez-Cava, A, Conesa, E, and Courel-Ibáñez, J. A new short track test to estimate the VO2max and maximal aerobic speed in well-trained runners. J Strength Cond Res 33(5): 1216–1221, 2019—This study was designed to validate a new short track test (Track(1:1)) to estimate running performance parameters maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal aerobic speed (MAS), based on a laboratory treadmill protocol and gas exchange data analysis (Lab(1:1)). In addition, we compared the results with the University of Montreal Track Test (UMTT). Twenty-two well-trained male athletes (VO2max 60.3 ± 5.9 ml·kg−1·min−1; MAS ranged from 17.0 to 20.3 km·h−1) performed 4 testing protocols: 2 in laboratory (Lab(1:1)-pre and Lab(1:1)) and 2 in the field (UMTT and Track(1:1)). The Lab(1:1)-pre was designed to determine individuals' Vpeak and set initial speeds for the subsequent Lab(1:1) short ramp graded exercise testing protocol, starting at 13 km·h−1 less than each athlete's Vpeak, with 1 km·h−1 increments per minute until exhaustion. The Track(1:1) was a reproduction of the Lab(1:1) protocol in the field. A novel equation was yielded to estimate the VO2max from the Vpeak achieved in the Track(1:1). Results revealed that the UMTT significantly underestimated the Vpeak (−4.2%; bias = −0.8 km·h−1; p < 0.05), which notably altered the estimations (MAS: −2.6%, bias = −0.5 km·h−1; VO2max: 4.7%, bias = 2.9 ml·kg−1·min−1). In turn, data from Track(1:1) were very similar to the laboratory test and gas exchange methods (Vpeak: −0.6%, bias = <0.1 km·h−1; MAS: 0.3%, bias = <0.1 km·h−1; VO2max: 0.4%, bias = 0.2 ml·kg−1·min−1, p > 0.05). Thus, the current Track(1:1) test emerges as a better alternative than the UMTT to estimate maximal running performance parameters in well-trained and highly trained athletes on the field.

Human Performance and Sports Science Laboratory, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Murcia, Spain

Address correspondence to Dr. Jesús G. Pallarés,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.