Predictors of long-distance race performance in master runners
Keywords:VO2peak, Running economy, Training
Peak aerobic power (V ̇O2peak) and parameters related to training are associated with long-distance running performance in master athletes. Running economy (RE) predicts performance in younger runners, but its relationship to racing ability in older athletes is unclear. Allometrically scaled RE (alloV ̇O2; ml kg-0.66 min-1), energy cost (EC; kcal kg-1 km-1), and percent of V ̇O2peak (%V ̇O2peak) required in a submaximal bout represent RE more accurately than V ̇O2 does. The VDOT score, estimating V ̇O2peak and RE, can be used to compare races of different distances. Purpose: To determine predictors of temperature-converted VDOT in master runners training for a long-distance race (10-26.2 mi). Methods: Twenty-three master runners (age 57±9 years; eight females) performed treadmill marathon-intensity-effort (MIE) and V ̇O2peak tests within four weeks of their goal race. The MIE occurred at 88% of predicted maximum heart rate, which corresponds to estimated marathon intensity. Participants completed online training-history surveys. Forward stepwise multiple linear regression was used to find key predictors of VDOT. The alpha level for significance was .05. Results: Converted VDOT was significantly associated with 3-year peak weekly training distance (3YP) (r = 0.454, p = .039), V ̇O2peak (r = 0.845, p = .000), alloV ̇O2 (r = 0.623, p = .005), and EC (r = -0.528, p = .018). The best-fitting model included V ̇O2peak and 3YP (r = 0.898). Conclusion: Physiological and training factors are related to race performance in master runners. The best predictors of VDOT are V ̇O2peak and 3YP. Training to enhance these variables may improve distance-running performance in masters.
FundingNational Institutes of Health (grant R01 HL208962-05)
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