VDOT Training : An Overview


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The VDOT system was planned by Jack Daniels and Jimmy Gilbert and is a measurement of an individual’s running ability grounded on performance times from a field test or race that are used to generate an aerobic score. That score is then used to determine precise training intensities in order to yield specific adaptations such as enhanced speed, economy, and endurance. They evaluated thousands of athletes and determined that there is one shared formula that can be used by all to define optimal racing and training speeds calculated from the product of a fresh race performance. This formula is called the ‘Daniel’s Runners Formula’. ‘VDOT’ is short for V-dot-02-max, or the bulk of oxygen consumed per kilogram of body weight per minute while running. This is a straight measure of an individual’s aerobic capacity. The standard way to implement it is with a three-kilometre run timed-trial. This method evidently does not require any fancy laboratory gear. Not only does this test take into consideration an individual’s current fitness level, but it also processes inclination and motivation to deal with distress (something that a lab test cannot automatically achieve). It is a very beneficial replication of everything that a runner would call for to achieve during a race. The distance of three kilometres is normally used because one can run at 100% of his or her VO2 max for ten to twelve minutes. Once this point is established, all other training intensities can be yielded from one curve. It is perfect for setting training intensities because threshold runs, intervals, and even easy long runs are best done at particular percentages of an individual’s up-to-date VDOT. It is a clever way to train based on your current fitness level because it decreases the likelihood of overtraining at the high intensity levels. A VDOT test should preferably be completed every four to six weeks to guarantee that the individual is continuing to train at the right training intensities. This structure works because it is a methodical, results-based process with training speeds determined not from a goal that one would like to achieve, but one based on objective results.



  • Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle. NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd Edition. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2008.
  • Bompa, Tudor O. Periodization: theory and methodology of training. 5th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2009.
  • Kilgore, Lon, and Michael Hartman. Fit. Iowa Park, Tex.: Killustrated Books, 2011.
  • Reuter, Ben. Developing Endurance. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2012.


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