Influence of test duration on oxygen uptake attained during treadmill running

David V B James, Leigh E. Sandals, Stephen B. Draper, Sara Maldonado-Martín, Dan M. Wood

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Previous investigations have revealed that in well-trained middle-distance runners, oxygen uptake (VO 2) does not attain maximal values (VO 2max) in exhaustive treadmill trials where the VO 2 demand exceeds VO 2max . To date, this shortfall in the VO 2 attained has been demonstrated in trials as short as 2 min in duration. In this study, we investigated whether a reduction in exhaustive test duration influences the VO 2 attained during running on a treadmill. Six middle-distance runners participated in the study, completing an exhaustive 400 m and 800 m trial. These trials, together with a progressive test to determine VO 2max , were completed in a counterbalanced order. Oxygen uptakes attained during the 400 m and 800 m trials were compared to examine the influence of exhaustive test duration. A plateau in VO 2 was observed in all participants for the progressive test, demonstrating the attainment of VO 2max . The mean speed, duration, and resulting distance in the constant-speed exhaustive trials were 25.8 km × h (1 (s01.2), 55.8 s (s 02.3), and 400.2 m (s 020.2) for the 400 m trial, and 24.3 km × h (1 (s00.8), 108.4 s (s 021.2), and 730.1 m (s0129.1) for the 800 m trial, respectively. A paired-samples t-test revealed a significantly different (P 00.018)%VO 2max was attained for the 400 m (85.7%, s 03.0) and 800 m (89.1%, s05.0) trials. In conclusion, VO 2 did not reach VO 2max during the exhaustive constant-speed 400 m and 800 m trials, but the test duration does influence the%VO 2max achieved. Specifically, the VO 2 attained becomes progressively further below VO 2max as trial duration is reduced, such that 89% and 86% VO 2max is achieved in exhaustive 800 m and 400 m constant-speed trials, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • 400 m
  • 800 m
  • Middle-distance
  • VO2 response


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