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T10 Test as an Alternative Method to Assess Critical Speed and its Potential Application to Runners

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Exercise intensity is usually prescribed based on a metabolic marker, such as maximum oxygen uptake or maximal lactate steady state. Those markers, however, face some difficulties regarding their practical applicability to the general population. The critical speed emerges as an alternative parameter to determine aerobic exercise intensities through maximal tests using ergometers or field tests, demanding few resources. We evaluated the fidelity of test to predict critical speed and if this parameter could be used to prescribe intensity in aerobic exercise. One hundred recreational runners performed the T10 test and a conventional critical speed test to define running speeds. Out of them, 44 runners proceed continuous and interval races. The critical speed assessed from T10 test was then compared to critical speed measured by three maximal runs in the track field (1200 m, 2400 m, and 3600 m). We found a strong correlation (r = 0.91) and did not find statistical differences (t = 1.8, P = 0.90) between critical speed assessed by T10 (3.89 ± 0.49 m/s) and field-test (3.85 ± 0.51 m/s). T10 is also better associated with running and interval running speeds than metabolic markers. T10 test can be used as a valid alternative method to assess critical speed and to prescribe runs.

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VO2max :

Maximum oxygen uptake


Maximum heart rate


Gas exchange threshold


Blood lactate


10-Min treadmill test


Ventilatory threshold


Critical speed


Critical power

VT2 :

Second ventilatory threshold


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the participants for their time and effort.


Capes/Brazil; CNPq/Brazil (439392/2016; 422193/2016);

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EFB and SGS conceived and designed the experiment. EFB and LF conducted the experiment. EFB, LF analyzed the data, interpreted results and wrote the manuscript. LF, SCB and MPT provided critical inputs and contributed in writing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Edilson Fernando de Borba.

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de Borba, E.F., Follador, L., Barbosa, S.C. et al. T10 Test as an Alternative Method to Assess Critical Speed and its Potential Application to Runners. J. of SCI. IN SPORT AND EXERCISE 5, 369–377 (2023).

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