Lin, J. C., & Wang, S. C. (1999). The physiological responses of running at critical velocity for distance runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 371.

This study analyzed the physiological responses of male long-distance runners (N = 20) running at critical velocity. Critical velocity was assessed on the track for 800 m, 1,500 m, and 5,000 m and on a treadmill at 11, 12, and 13 mph. Heart rate, ventilation, oxygen intake, carbon dioxide output, and blood lactate were measured during a 20-minute flat run on a treadmill at 85%, 100%, and 115% of critical velocity.

A significant correlation of r = .99 was found between critical velocity and 5,000 m performance. Critical velocity measured on the track was similar to that measured on the treadmill. During 85% of critical-velocity running, ventilatory factors were in steady state but heart rate increased over time.

Implication. Critical velocity running does not elicit steady-state physiological responses. Steady-state training will not increase specific speed for particular distance races.

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