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vV̇O2max (velocity at maximal oxygen uptake) is an intense running or swimming pace. In a constant rate exercise, this is the minimum speed for which the organism's maximal oxygen uptake is reached (after a few minutes of exercise at this intensity) ; at higher paces, any additional increase in power is provided by anaerobic processes. In an incremental exercise, it is the first speed at which any increase in exercise intensity fails to elicit an increase in oxygen consumption.

The vV̇O2max of world class middle- and long-distance runners may exceed 24 km/h or 2:30/km pace (15 mph or about 4:00/mile), making this speed slightly comparable to 3000 m race pace. For many athletes, vV̇O2max may be slightly slower than 1500 m or mile race pace.[citation needed]


Research by Véronique Billat has shown that training at vV̇O2max pace improves both V̇O2max and the economy required to maintain pace at this intensity.[1][2]

Training at vV̇O2max takes the form of interval workouts. For example, 3×103 m with 3 minutes recovery between each repetition.

Determining vV̇O2max from VO2max[edit]

The formula from Léger and Mercier[3] links the V̇O2max to the vV̇O2max, supposing an ideal running technique.

vV̇O2max = V̇O2max / 3.5

where vV̇O2max is in km/h and V̇O2max is in mL/(kg•min).

Note: This formula is identical to that used to calculate the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) score for a given V̇O2max estimation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Billat, Véronique L.; J. Pierre Koralsztein (August 1996). "Significance of the Velocity at VO2max and Time to Exhaustion at this Velocity" (PDF). Sports Med. 22 (2): 90–108. doi:10.2165/00007256-199622020-00004. PMID 8857705. S2CID 6890171. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  2. ^ Billat, Véronique L.; DeMarle, Alexandre; Slawinski, Jean; Paive, Mario; Koralsztein, Jean-Pierre (December 2001). "Physical and training characteristics of top-class marathon runners". Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 33 (12): 2089–2097. doi:10.1097/00005768-200112000-00018. PMID 11740304.
  3. ^ Léger, L.; Mercier, D. (1984). "Gross energy cost of horizontal treadmill and track running". Sports Med. 1 (4): 270–7. doi:10.2165/00007256-198401040-00003. PMID 6390604. S2CID 18731237.