Advertisement

Sports Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 90–108 | Cite as

Significance of the Velocity at V̇O2max and Time to Exhaustion at this Velocity

  • L. Véronique Billat
  • J. Pierre Koralsztein
Review Article

Summary

In 1923, Hill and Lupton pointed out that for Hill himself, ‘the rate of oxygen intake due to exercise increases as speed increases, reaching a maximum for the speeds beyond about 256 m/min. At this particular speed, for which no further increases in O2 intake can occur, the heart, lungs, circulation, and the diffusion of oxygen to the active muscle-fibres have attained their maximum activity. At higher speeds the requirement of the body for oxygen is far higher but cannot be satisfied, and the oxygen debt continuously increases’.

In 1975, this minimal velocity which elicits maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) was called ‘critical speed’ and was used to measure the maximal aerobic capacity (max Eox), i.e. the total oxygen consumed at V̇O2max. This should not be confused with the term ‘critical power’ which is closest to the power output at the ‘lactate threshold’.

In 1984, the term ‘velocity at V̇O2max’ and the abbreviation ‘vV̇O2max’ was introduced. It was reported that vV̇O2max is a useful variable that combines V̇O2max and economy into a single factor which can identify aerobic differences between various runners or categories of runners. vV̇O2max explained individual differences in performance that V̇O2max or running economy alone did not. Following that, the concept of a maximal aerobic running velocity (Vamax in m/sec) was formulated. This was a running velocity at which V̇O2max occurred and was calculated as the ratio between V̇O2max (ml/kg/min) minus oxygen consumption at rest, and the energy cost of running (ml/kg/sec).

There are many ways to determine the velocity associated with V̇O2max making it difficult to compare maintenance times. In fact, the time to exhaustion (tlim) at vV̇O2max is reproducible in an individual, however, there is a great variability among individuals with a low coefficient of variation for vV̇O2max. For an average value of about 6 minutes, the coefficient of variation is about 25%. It seems that the lactate threshold which is correlated with the tlim at vV̇O2max can explain this difference among individuals, the role of the anaerobic contribution being significant.

An inverse relationship has been found between tlim at vV̇O2max and V̇O2max and a positive one between vV̇O2max and the velocity at the lactate threshold expressed as a fraction of vV̇O2max. These results are similar for different sports (e.g. running, cycling, kayaking, swimming). It seems that the real time spent at V̇O2max is significantly different from an exhaustive run at a velocity close to vV̇O2max (105% vV̇O2max). However, the minimal velocity which elicits V̇O2maxand the tlim at this velocity appear to convey valuable information when analysing a runner’s performance over 1500m to a marathon.

Keywords

Critical Speed Critical Power Distance Runner Lactate Threshold Maximal Oxygen Consumption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Hill AV, Lupton L. Muscular exercise, lactic acid and the supply and udlization of oxygen. Q J Med 1923; 16: 135–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Moritani T, Nagata A, De Vries HA, et al. Cridcal power as a measure of physical working capacity and anaerobic threshold. Ergonomics 1981; 24: 339–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Medbo JI, Mohn AC, Tabata I. Anaerobic capacity determined by maximal accumulated O2 deficit. J Appl Physiol 1988; 64: 50–60PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Volkov NI, Shirkovets EA, Borilkevich VE. Assessment of aerobic and anaerobic capacity of athletes in treadmill running tests. Eur J Appl Physiol 1975; 34: 121–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lechevalier JM, Vandewalle H, Chatard JC, et al. Relationship between the 4 mMol running velocity, the time-distance relationship and the Léger-Boucher test. Arch Int Physiol Biochim 1989; 97: 355–60PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hill DW. The critical power concept. Sports Med 1993; 16: 237–54CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Safrit MJ, Glauca Costa M, Hooper LM, et al. The validity generalization of distance run tests. Can J Sport Sci 1988; 13: 188–96PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cooper KH. A mean of assessing maximal oxygen intake. JAMA 1968; 203: 201–4CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Balke B. A simple field test for the assessment of physical fitness. Civil Aeromedical Research Institute Report 63–18. Oklahoma City (OK): Federal Aviation Agency, 1963Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Léger L, Boucher R. An indirect continuous running multistage field test, the Université de Montréal Track Test, Can J Appl Sports Sci 1980; 5: 77–84Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pugh LG. Oxygen intake in track and treadmill running with observations on the effect of air resistance. J Physiol (Lond) 1970; 207: 823–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Léger L, Mercier D. Gross energy cost of horizontal treadmill and track running. Sports Med 1984; 1: 270–7CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lacour JR, Montmayeur A, Dormois D, et al. Validation of the UMTT test in a group of elite middle-distance runners. Sci Mot 1989; 7: 3–8Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Berthoin S, Gerbeaux M, Turpin E, et al. Comparison of two field tests to estimate maximum aerobic speed. J Sports Sci 1994; 12: 355–62CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mercier D, Léger L. Prediction of the running performance with the maximal aerobic power. STAPS 1986, 14: 5–28Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wasserman K, Hansen JE, Sue DY, et al. Principles of exercise testing and interpretation. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1986Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Taylor HL, Buskirk E, Henschel A. Maximal oxygen intake as an objective measure of cardiorespiratory performance. J Appl Physiol 1955; 8: 73–80PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Astrand PO, Ryhming I. A nomogram for calculation of aerobic capacity (physical fitness) from pulse rate during submaximal work. J Appl Physiol 1954; 7: 218–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Daniels J, Scardina N, Hayes J, et al. Elite and subelite female middle- and long-distance runners. In: Landers DM, editor. Sport and Elite Performers, Vol. 3. Proceedings of the 1984 Olympic Scientific Congress: 1984 Jul 19–23: Oregon. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1984: 57–72Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Conley DL, Krahenbuhl GS. Running economy and distance running performance of highly trained athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1980; 12: 357–60CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Morgan DW, Martin PE, Kohrt WM. Relationship between distance-running performance and velocity at V̇O2max in well-trained runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1986; 18(5 Suppl.): 537SGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    di Prampero PE. The energy cost of human locomotion on land and in water. Int J Sports Med 1986; 7: 55–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lacour JR, Flandrois R. Aerobic metabolism in long heavy exercise. J Physiol (Paris) 1977; 73: 89–130Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    di Prampero PE, Atchou G, Bruckner JC, et al. The energetics of endurance running. Eur J Appl Physiol 1986; 55: 259–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lacour JR, Padilla-Magunacelaya S, Barthélémy JC, et al. The energetics of middle-distance running. Eur J Appl Physiol 1990; 60: 38–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lacour JR, Padilla-Magunacelaya S, Chatard JC, et al. The influence of weekly training distance on fractional utilization of maximum aerobic capacity in marathon and ultramarathon runners. Eur J Appl Physiol 1991; 62: 77–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Morgan DW, Baldini FD, Martin PE, et al. Ten kilometer performance and predicted velocity at V̇O2max among well-trained male runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1989; 21: 78–83CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Noakes TD. Implications of exercise testing for prediction of athletic performance: a contemporary perspective. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1988; 20: 319–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Scrimgeour AG, Noakes TD, Adams B, et al. The influence of weekly training distance on fractional utilization of maximum aerobic capacity in marathon and ultramarathon runners. Eur J Appl Physiol 1986; 55: 202–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Noakes TD, Myburgh KH, Schall R. Peak treadmill running velocity during the V̇O2max test predicts running performance. J Sports Sci 1990; 8: 35–45CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kuipers H, Verstappen FT, Keizer HA, et al. Variability of aerobic performance in the laboratory and its physiological correlates. Int J Sports Med 1985; 6: 197–201CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Billat V, Pinoteau J, Petit B, et al. Reproducibility of running time to exhaustion at V̇O2max in sub-elite runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1994a; 26: 254–7CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Billat V, Pinoteau J, Petit B, et al. Time to exhaustion at V̇O2maxand lactate steady-state velocity in sub-elite long-distance runners. Arch Int Physiol Biochim 1994c; 102: 215–9Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hill DW, Rowell A. Determination of running velocity at V̇O2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996; 28: 114–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Brandon LJ. Physiological factors associated with middle distance running performance. Sports Med 1995; 19: 268–77CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Billat V, Hill D, Pinoteau J, et al. effect of protocol on determination of velocity at V̇O2max and on its time to exhaustion. Arch Int Physiol Biochim. In pressGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kennelly AE. An approximate law of fatigue in the speeds of racing animals. Proc Am Acad Arts Sci 1906; 42, 15: 275–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Hill AV. Muscular movement in man. New York: McGraw Hill, 1927Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sargent RM. The relation between oxygen requirement and speed in running. Proc R Soc Lond B 1926; 100: 10–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Grosse-Lordemann H, Midler EA. Der einfluss der leistung und der arbeitsgeschwindigkeit auf das arbeitsmaximum und den Wirkungsgrad beim radfahren. Arbeitsphysiol 1937; 9: 454–75Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Tornvall G. Assessment of physical capabilities. Acta Physiol Scand 1963; 58 Suppl.: 201SCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Scherrer J, Samson M, Paléologue A. Study of muscular work and fatigue [in French]. J Physiol (Paris) 1954; 46: 887–916Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Wilkie DR. Man as a source of mechanical power. Ergonomics 1960; 3: 1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wilkie DR. Equations describing power input by humans as a function of duration of exercise. In: Cerretelli P, Whipp BJ, editors. Exercise bioenergetics and gas exchange. Holland: Elsevier, 1980: 75–81Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Ettema JH. Limits of human performance and energy production. Int Z Angew Physiol 1966; 22: 45–54Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Margaria R. Biomechanics and Energetics of muscular exercise. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Gleser MA, Vogel JA. Endurance capacity for prolonged exercise on the bicycle ergometer. J Appl Physiol 1973; 34: 438–42PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ward-Smith AJ. A mathematical theory of running, based on the first law of thermodynamics, and its application to the performance of world-class athletes. J Biomech 1985; 18: 338–49Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    di Prampero PE. Energetics of world records in human locomotion. In: Wieser W, Gnaiger E, editors. Energy transformations in cells and organisms. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme, 1989: 248–53Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Péronnet F, Thibault G. Mathematical analysis of running performance and world running records. J Appl Physiol 1989; 67: 453–65PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Monod H, Scherrer J. The work capacity of synergy muscular groups. Ergonomics 1965; 8: 329–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Astrand PO, Rodahl K. Textbook of work physiology. 2nd rev. ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 1977Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Horvath SM, Michael ED. Responses of young women to gradually increasing and constant load maximal exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1970; 2: 128–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Costill DL. Metabolic responses during distance running. J Appl Physiol 1970; 28: 251–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Costill DL. Fractional utilization of the aerobic capacity during. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1973; 5: 248–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Higgs SL. Maximal oxygen intake and maximal work performance of active college women. Res Q 1973; 44: 125–31PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    McLellan TM, Skinner JS. Submaximal endurance performance related to the ventilatory thresholds. Can J Appl Sports Sci 1985; 10: 81–7Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Léger L, Mercier D, Gauvin L. The relationship between %V̇O2max and running performance time. In: Landers DM, editor. Sport and elite performers. Vol. 3. Proceedings of the 1984 Olympic Scientific Congress: 1984 Jul 19–23: Oregon. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1986: 113–9Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Reybrouck T, Ghesquiere J, Weymans M, et al. Ventilatory threshold measurement to evaluate maximal endurance performance. Int J Sports Med 1986; 7: 26–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Lavoie NF, Mercer TH. Incremental and constant-load determinations of V̇O2max and maximal constant-load. Can J Sport Sci 1987; 12: 229–32Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Camus G, Juchmès J, Thys H, et al. Relation entre le temps limite et la consommation maximale d’oxygène dans la course supramaximale. J Physiol (Paris) 1988; 83: 26–33Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Ramsbottom R, Williams C, Kerwin DG, et al. Physiological and metabolic responses of men and women to 5-km treadmill time trial. J Sports Sci 1992; 10: 119–29CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Pepper ML, Housh TJ, Johnson GO. The accuracy of the critical velocity test for predicting time to exhaustion during treadmill running. Int J Sports Med 1992; 13: 121–4CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    McLellan TM, Cheung SY. A comparative evaluation of the individual anaerobic threshold and the critical power. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1992; 24: 543–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Padilla S, Bourdin M, Barthelemy JC, et al. Physiological correlates of middle-distance running performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 1992; 65: 561–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Billat V, Pinoteau J, Petit B, et al. Exercise induced hypoxemia and time to exhaustion at 90, 100 and 105% of the maximal aerobic speed in long-distance elite runners. Can J Appl Physiol 1995; 20: 102–11CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Billat V, Pinoteau J, Petit B, et al. Times to exhaustion at 90, 100 and 105% of speed at V̇O2max and critical speed in elite long distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1994; 26(5 Suppl.) 106SGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Weltman A, Regan J. A reliable method for the measurement of constant load maximal endurance performance on the bicycle ergometer. Res Q Exerc Sport 1982; 53: 176–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    McLellan TM, Cheung SY, Jacobs I. Variability of time to exhaustion during submaximal exercise. Can J Appl Physiol 1995; 20: 39–51CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Graham KS, McLellan TM. Variability of time to exhaustion and oxygen deficit in supramaximal exercise. Aust J Sci Med Sport 1989; 21: 88–90Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Billat V, Renoux JC, Pinoteau J, et al. Validation of a test to evaluate the time to exhaustion at the maximal aerobic speed. Sci Sports 1994; 9: 135–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Billat V, Pinoteau J, Petit B, et al. Time to exhaustion at 100% of velocity at V̇O2max and modelling of the time limit/velocity relationship in elite long distance runners. Eur J Appl Physiol 1994; 69: 271–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Billat V, Faina M, Sardella F, et al. Time limit at V̇O2max in elite swimmers, kayakists, runners and cyclists. Ergonomics 1996; 39: 267–77CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Faina M, Billat V, Sardella F, et al. Anaerobic contribution to time to exhaustion performances at V̇O2max in elite cyclists, kayakists and swimmers [abstract]. Arch Int Physiol Biochim 1994 102; 4: A81Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Whipp BJ, Wasserman K. Oxygen uptake kinetics for various intensities of constant-load work. J Appl Physiol 1972; 5: 351–6Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Whipp BJ. The slow component of O2 uptake kinetics during heavy exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1994; 26: 1319–26PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Casaburi R, Storer TW, Ben-Dov I, et al. Effect of endurance training on possible determinants of V̇O2 during heavy exercise. J Appl Physiol 1987; 62: 199–207PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Henson LC, Poole DC, Whipp BJ. Fitness as a determinant of oxygen uptake response to constant-load exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 1989; 59: 21–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Gaesser G, Brooks G. Muscular efficiency during steady-rate exercise: effects of speed and work rate. J Appl Physiol 1975; 38: 1132–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Zoladz JA, Rademaker AC, Sargeant AJ. Non-linear relationship between O2 uptake and power output at high intensities of exercise in humans. J Physiol 1995; 488: 211–7CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Dick RW, Cavanagh PR. An explanation of the upward drift in oxygen uptake during prolonged sub-maximal downhill running. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1987; 19: 310–7CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Dempsey J, Hanson P, Henderson K. Exercise-induced arterial hypoxemia in healthy persons at sea level. J Physiol (Lond) 1984; 355: 161–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Powers S, Lawler J, Dodd S, et al. Incidence of exercise-induced hypoxemia in elite athletes at sea level. Eur J Appl Physiol 1988; 58: 298–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Williams J, Powers S, Stuart M. Hemoglobin desaturation in highly trained athletes during heavy exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1986; 18: 168–73CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Billat V, Beillot J, Jan J, et al. Gender effect on the relationship among time limit at 100% V̇O2max with the other bioenergetic characteristics and performance in elite middle-distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. In pressGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Gerbeaux M, Lensel-Corbeil G, Jacquet A, et al. Evaluation of children’s endurance at school. Sci Mot 1992; 17: 26–32Google Scholar
  87. 87.
    Berthoin S, Mantéca F, Gerbeaux M, et al. Effect of a 12-week training programme on maximal aerobic speed (MAS) and running time to exhaustion at 100% of MAS for students aged 14 to 17 years. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1995; 35: 251–6PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Véronique Billat
    • 1
  • J. Pierre Koralsztein
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire STAPSUniversity of Paris 12CréteilFrance
  2. 2.Centre de Médecine du Sport CCASParisFrance

Personalised recommendations