Training for the 800/1600m

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    Todd Lane on #22265

    Good stuff here.

    Knight, the absolute Vo2 hasn't changed with weight loss, just the relative Vo2. So, is 1 minute improvement in 5k with 10% vo2 improvement, due to better oxygen exchange or decrease in mass??

    Have read this in only one place, i'm paraphrasing- "women's anaerobic threshold is naturally almost same as vo2 max, much more than in men". Read in Coe and Martin first edition, I can site page tomorrow. Have not read anywhere else.

    In experience with one more elite female have found this to be very true. Has anyone else found this to be true or read anywhere?

    CoachKW on #22266

    I'm not sure I could confine that much improvement in 5k due to one or two factors. We could very well be looking at other associated factors such as mitochondrial density or even biomechanical efficiency. It's my understanding that the % of max that the anaerobic threshold occurs is at least as important. Also, I would say that the V Vo2 Max is possibly a more telling statistic since you know what speeds these physiological changes occur. Then you can take the science to the workout scheme and plan your workout paces accordingly.

    I have read similar things about women's threshold and some scientists have mistakenly extrapolated that out to mean that the women's marathon world record would be faster than the men's, but it is very interesting

    CoachKW on #22267

    Here's an old post by a former American Record holder which sums up my philosophy about the whole thing quite nicely:

    It's an oft-used and little understood term used by grad students to justify to their parents that all of their efforts and money have not gone to waste. University administrators have been duped by this fog-machine, as well. How else could the waste of valuable resources, time and money, be covered-up? Parents and other intelligent, rational thinking adults could not possibly decipher this code. Do not try to yourself. You'll only make yourself look foolish reciting the catechism of the exercise-physio-geeks.

    The 'science' of exercise physiology was born out of a failed genetics experiment in the early 60s: the breeding of an economist and a sociologist. The offspring of this pairing would say more and mean less than the combined blather of the two parents put together. Common sense would have told us how this experiment would have ended, but stubborn researchers pushed ahead nonetheless.

    The only numbers that matter are the ones that you receive at the end of the race. The most important of these is called PLACE, and is represented as an ordinal. A '1' is the best indicator of your performance. If you get a '1' then you've done excellent. It's no small coincidence that '1' is a homophone for 'won'. Other excellent numbers to receive are '2' and '3'. Not nearly as good as a '1', but by tradition and convention the numbers '1', '2' and '3' are deemed to be the 'supreme ordinals'; that is to say, worthy of gold, silver and bronze, and are separated from the other ordinals. The rest of the ordinals are represented by the formula: n + 1…(to infinity). There is a direct, inverse relationship between ordinal value and its worth. The closer you get to the supreme ordinals, the better you've done, the closer you approach infinity, the worse you've done.

    One of the other numbers that matters much more than VO2 Max is TIME. TIME is always secondary to PLACE in it's value. Neither PLACE nor TIME are given in the gerbil-wheel lab tests conducted by the exercise-physio-geeks. You will only receive them in the experiment that the REAL EXPERTS call COMPETITION. TIME does not supercede PLACE, but it is a way of comparing the PLACE of two or more experiments from different venues and eras. The juxtaposition of TIME and PLACE is the business of track statisticians, who, by the way, are also the progeny of the aforementioned failed genetics experiment.

    Long ago, TIME was measured as a fraction of the earth's rotation in base 60: hours, minutes and seconds. It's still expressed as such, however, the predecessors to the exercise-physio-geeks have determined that TIME should now be measured in terms of the vibration frequency of irradiated Cesium atoms. Your watch has quartz crystals in it that will simulate this experiment for you (without the attendant radiation and disposal problems) and convert the results automatically, presenting them to you in the form of easily recognizable numbers. No complicated formulae to memorize!

    There are many other factors that are much more indicative of athletic performance, or the potential for performance, than VO2 max. I couldn't possibly begin to list them all: height, weight, hair color, skin color, shoe size, favorite TV show…the list is endless.

    Steve Prefontaine,US runner, 84.4

    Frank Shorter, US Olympic Marathon winner, 71.3

    Ingrid Kristiansen, ex-Marathon World Record Holder, 71.2

    Derek Clayton, Australian ex-Marathon World Record holder, 69.7

    Rosa Mota, Marathon runner, 67.2

    Jeff Galloway, US Runner, 73.0

    Paula Ivan, Russian Olympic 1500M Record Holder, 71.0

    Jarmila Krotochvilov
    a,Czech Olympian 400M/800M winner, 72.8

    Greg LeMond, professional cyclist, 92.5

    Matt Carpenter, Pikes Peak marathon course record holder, 92

    Miguel Indurain, professional cyclist, 88


    Noakes, T. D., Myburgh, K. H., & Schall, R. (1990). Peak treadmill running velocity during VO2max test predicts running performance. Journal of Sports Sciences, 8, 35-45.

    Marathon runners (N = 20) and ultra-marathoners (N = 23) were tested for VO2max, peak treadmill running velocity, velocity at lactate turnpoint, and VO2 at 16 km/h using an incremental (1 min) treadmill test.

    Results. Race times at 10, 21.1, and 42.2 km of the specialist marathoners were faster than those of the ultra-marathoners, however, only the 10 km time differed significantly. Lactate turnpoint occurred at 77.4% of VO2max and at 74.7% of peak treadmill velocity. The average VO2 at 16 km/h was 51.2 ml/kg/min which represented 78.5% of VO2max.

    For all distances, performance time in other races was the best predictor of performance (r = .95 to .98).

    The best laboratory predictors were: (a) peak treadmill running velocity (r = -.89 to -.94); (b) running velocity at lactate turnpoint (r = -.91 to -.93); and (c) fractional use of VO2max at 16 km/h (r = .86 to .90). The predictive value of the lactate turnpoint measure increased as the distance increased.

    The poorest predictors were: VO2max (r = -.55 to -.81) and VO2 at 16 km/h (r = .40 to .45).
    Conclusion. There may be no unique physiological characteristics that distinguish elite long-distance (10 km or longer) runners as is often promoted. Other factors determine success in high level sports among exclusive groups of superior athletes.

    Implication. Running performance is the best predictor of running capability in elite long-distance runners. Physiological laboratory testing gives less information than does actual performance. Even the fastest speed of running on the treadmill is a better predictor than any physiological measure. This suggests that for at least endurance-dominated sports, actual performances in a variety of performance-specific situations will give more useful information than that which can be obtained in any physiology laboratory test.

    As I've said in the satire above, "VO2 max doesn't mean anything."


    midpackmag on #22268

    walla-pallusa! as technical as your post was— i agree— performance and time— always has been and always will be

    i really enjoyed your post. thanks. 😆

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