Remote determination of critical speed and critical power in recreational runners

Hunter, Ben, Ledger, Adam and Muniz-Pumares, Daniel (2023) Remote determination of critical speed and critical power in recreational runners. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 18 (12). pp. 1449-1456. ISSN 1555-0273


This study aimed to compare estimations of critical speed (CS) and work completed above CS (D'), and their analogies for running power (critical power [CP] and W'), derived from raw data obtained from habitual training (HAB) and intentional maximal efforts in the form of time trials (TTs) and 3-minute all-out tests (3MTs) in recreational runners. The test-retest reliability of the 3MT was further analyzed. Twenty-three recreational runners (4 female) used a foot pod to record speed, altitude, and power output for 8 consecutive weeks. CS and D', and CP and W', were calculated from the best 3-, 7-, and 12-minute segments recorded in the first 6 weeks of their HAB and in random order in weeks 7 and 8 from 3 TTs (3, 7, and 12 min) and three 3MTs (to assess test-retest reliability). There was no difference between estimations of CS or CP derived from HAB, TT, and 3MT (3.44 [0.63], 3.42 [0.53], and 3.76 [0.57] m · s-1 and 281 [41], 290 [45], and 305 [54] W, respectively), and strong agreement between HAB and TT for CS (r = .669) and CP (r = .916). Limited agreement existed between estimates of D'/W'. Moderate reliability of D'/W' was demonstrated between the first and second 3MTs, whereas excellent reliability was demonstrated for CS/CP. These data suggest that estimations of CS/CP can be derived remotely, from either HAB, TT, or 3MT, although the lower agreement between D'/W' warrants caution when using these measures interchangeably.

IJSPP-2023-0276_online.pdf - Accepted Version

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