Track Squad training guide

What is VDOT?

Founded by Dr. Jack Daniels, PhD, VDOT is a measure of your current running ability. It assigns a score to all running performances and let's you equate a time in one distance against another. Because of the simplicity and usefulness of the VDOT training formula, Elevate Performance Coaching has adopted it to establish running ability groups and training intensities.

Want to know more?

The term VDOT was originally used as a short form for the V̇O₂ max value, to which it is related. When we refer to V̇O₂, it is correctly pronounced "V dot O2" because there is a dot over the V indicating that the volume, which the V represents, is a 1-minute volume. The data used by Dr. Jack Daniels in constructing the VDOT tables were gathered from years of testing many runners of a variety of ability levels. The key variables generated were V̇O₂ max, running economy over a minimum of four submaximal speeds of running, and the fraction of each runner's respective V̇O₂ max at which each runner performed when racing over a variety of distances.

How do we use it?

Using a recent race time or time trial will provide a far better prediction of training intensities and other race performances. Race times and time trials reflect our max effort, our economy, our threshold, and our mental approach to racing, all in one measure - the time it takes us to run the distance. Think of the VDOT values as good predictors of physiological capability and they will do a great job when used to estimate times for race distances for which you are currently training for.

For example, your best current performance for a 5000m is 25-minutes, which from the Elevate Track Matrix associates it with a 38.3 VDOT value. You can then get the appropriate training paces (easy, marathon, threshold, interval, and repetition)  for a 38.3 VDOT value.

It is perfectly fine to go a little outside the recommended ranges now and then, for example, a person with a 38.3 VDOT value would probably not have a big problem running 400m repetitions in 1:40.

Download the Elevate Performance Coaching Mother-Of-All Track Squad Matrix


Try the Jack Daniels' VDOT Running Calculator