Calculating Vo2max: Make sure you have your doctor's permission before carrying out the following test.

On a 200-metre track, put traffic cones or chairs at the four 50-metre points on the inside of the track. If no 200-metre track is available, use a 400-metre oval, with markers at each 100-metre point. Have a friend along to help you.

Once you're loose and ready, jog around the track at a tempo of 100 seconds per 200 metres (25 seconds per 50 metres on the 200-metre track or 50 seconds per 100 metres on the 400-metre oval). To make sure you're at the right pace, have your friend call out your splits as you reach each 50- or 100-metre point. Continue at this pace for two minutes. After two minutes, start a new two-minute period in which you jog at a tempo of 85 seconds per 200 metres (about 21 seconds per 50 metres or 42 seconds per 100 metres). Once the two minutes in this stage are up, you must move on to the next stage.

In the third two-minute stage, you'll use a tempo of 74 seconds per 200 metres. And so it goes: after each two-minute period, you increase your running tempo. The following is a listing of all the stages and tempos (times per 200 metres). Since each stage must last for only two minutes, you'll be running farther on each successive stage. For example, during stage eight you will traverse about 522 metres in two minutes, but during stage 15 (if you make it that far) you will zip through 762 metres in two minutes.

If you make it all the way through, the whole affair will take 30 minutes, but mow runners can not complete all 15 stages. You will probably stop somewhere between the middle and the end (you should stop whenever you feel you can't possibly complete two minutes of running at the new stage tempo, or whenever you're about 10 metres or more behind where you should be at the end of a two-minute stage).

At any rate, your V02max running velocity is your velocity over the last two-minute stage which you complete successfully. For example, if that happens to be the eighth stage, then your V02max tempo is 46 seconds per 200 metres, or 92 seconds per 400 metres and about 6:08 per mile. Your calculated V02max tempo should be faster than your usual S-K race velocity. If not, try the test again at a later date.

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