VO2 and marathon pace

Does anyone know what percentage of their VO2max they run at for a marathon? Just curious image


  • Can't find a source right now but I think it's generally in the region of 80-85% for a well trained athlete.  I had a quick look at my Noakes book and he refers to Jack Daniels' VDOT training and says that threshold is equivalent to around 88% VO2max so marathon pace will be a bit lower.

    Obviously no one will know their actual VO2max unless they've done a lab test.  You can get an estimate from various sites from putting in a race distance, e.g. 5k which is run close to VO2max although 3k is closer, so I suppose you could estimate it from there.  Jack Daniels is your man though if you want to look it up.

  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    Cheers Phil image

    I've been looking for research and haven't actually come across a lot. Although I suspect that's my search strategy rather than a lack of data.

  • This might be worth a read, although I don't know who he is. 

    I would've had a look at my Pfitzinger and Douglas book but I think I might have leant it to someone.  They definitely single out VO2max as one of the key variables worth training for marathon performance - although it's kind of ''icing on the cake'' after things like aerobic endurance and lactate threshold - so I'm sure they've got a bit to say about it.  Might be worth searching on them as well.

  • Don't know about VO2 Max but heart rate is obviously related and easier to measure. Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot counsels <= 75% of WHR (or HRR depending on your favourite nomenclature) for the Marathon (<= 70% for first 20 miles if you are a novice).
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