VO2 max and training indices as determinants of competitive running performance
The importance of the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) for competitive running performance is established. Although of clear importance, the quantitative association between the volume and intensity of training, and running performance has not been established. The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the relative importance of VO2 max, training volume (miles/week) and intensity for running performance at distances ranging from 1.0 to 26.2 miles. Seventy‐eight well‐trained runners of widely varying ability were studied during uphill treadmill running to determine VO2 max. They provided training records to determine training volume and intensity, and participated in races of 1.0 (n = 31), 2.0 (n = 55), 3.0 (n = 28), 6.0 (n= 17), 10.0 (n = 20) and 26.2 (n = 25) miles. The relationship of VO2 max and training volume and intensity to performance was determined using multiple regression. Performance (running time) was highly correlated with VO2 max (r= ‐0.91, ‐0.92, ‐0.94, ‐0.96, ‐0.95 and ‐0.96 for 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 6.0, 10.0 and 26.2 miles, respectively). The addition of training measures improved the multiple correlations in some (1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 6.0 miles) but not all (10.0 and 26.2 miles) events. However, even when addition of one or both training indices improved the multiple correlation, the net reduction in the standard error of estimate was small. The results imply that the volume and intensity of training, per se, are relatively minor determinants of cross‐sectional differences in competitive running performance.