ARTICLE: Tracking VDOT

As a follow-up to yesterday's article I thought it worthwhile to look at how development tracking would look in the older and more widespreadly used system VDOT as opposed to the newer TPL system I employ.
VDOT represents and adjusted VO2 max score (e.g. if you're VDOT 58, you are estimated to have a VO2 max of 58 ml of oxygen per minute per kilo of body weight). The system was created by the legendary coach Jack Daniels, pHD, and you can find an online copy of the VDOT charts here.

The chart is similar to Matt Fitzgerald's TPL system (indeed Matt based his system on the VDOT system but refined it in accordance with some newer data and other unspecified corrections) except that low is bad and high is good in the VDOT system (whereas the TPL system start high and drops low as you improve). This means you should see an upward trend not a downward trendline when plotting in your data.
Word of Caution
Dr. Daniels warns himself that the VDOT number, while providing an estimated VO2 max rating "may or may not match a laboratory-generated VO2max", and I encourage you not to pay too much heed to it if you decide to plot your results into the VDOT chart.

We shall see this in a moment as I was once measured as having a VO2 max score of 78 but have never created a performance anywhere near the vicinity of what that score implies. Also, remember that modern research suggests that athletes don't perform well because they have high VO2 max scores but rather they have high VO2 max scores because they perform well (the faster you run the more oxygen you take in, so if you can run fast you can take in more).

E.g. that my score was measured at 78 simply means that my breathing technique allowed me to pull in huge amounts of air to aid me running at relatively modest speeds back in 2008 when tests were conducted.

VDOT vs. TPLTo the result: I cross-referenced my 12 data points from yesterday into the VDOT chart instead of the TPL chart and entered the VDOT scores in my table to generate a new chart.

Neither the VDOT nor the TPL method (or any other) can be exactly accurate for each individual but because of the large data trending used to generate them they are good average indications. Followingly checking your performances against multiple scientifically robust models serves a double-check. Given that TPL is based on VDOT, however, they'll almost invariably show almost similar trends and so it proves:


So in the VDOT system I started out at 46 before peaking out at 57 two and a half years later. The linear progression line shows the same clear trend that you see in the TPL system confirming the findings within the paradigm of these two models. (now it should be mentioned that the models are not scientifically controversial and quite reliable).

If anyone would prefer to get a VDOT chart rather than a TPL chart, feel free to email me on that likewise. Personally I'll be using both just to cross-check one against the other.

Comments

Colm O'Cnoic said…
This may also interest you. You plug in a recent race time and it gives you your VDOT (or enter your VDOT directly).

http://www.attackpoint.org/trainingpaces.jsp

Any website that has info on TPL?