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VDOT Training - What do you think?

Hi all

I have been looking at improving my running and I have been reading about VDOT training splits. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I have been reading through information on www.runbayou.com



  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Based on some comments in earlier threads, Father Christmas got me "Daniels' Running Formula, 2nd Ed." for Christmas. This is where the VDOT stuff comes from.

    Obviously, the focus is on running, rather than other sports. I'm still working my way through the book, so haven't quite mastered it enough to work out a plan. But the concepts that have stood out so far are: 1) Keeping track of minutes run, rather than distance run (modified with the quality of the run. 2) A focus on pace for determining the quality of the runs, rather than things like Heart Rate or perceived effort or what have you. 3) Your training _must_ be tailored to you - what's good for someone else, may not be right for you.

    I supposed these things have stood out because so far I have been more concerned with distance, and using HR for working out the quality.

    The idea is that you work out your VO2 Max (there is a dot above the V, hence the name VDOT).. and then your speed at this level of effort. You can do this from your race performances - (if you've never done a race it's a bit hard to get going with the technique) rather than some complex laboratory based testing. These paces are then used to set various training targets (from Easy through threshold to Intervals and Repetitions)

    The other aspect is the basis on physiology - and all the things that come with that such as lactate thresholds, improvements by stressing different aspects of your physiology and so on. The "avoiding injury" aspects also had resonance with me - as it's something that has been causing me a bother in the past. If you love a bit of science and what to know how things work, then it is really good for that!

    I failed in my goal of breaking 40 mins for the 10K in 2008 (my first year of running since being a teenager some 30 years ago ;-). And really want to do this in 2009. This means knocking a minute or so off the PB - some of this will be through training, some of this will come through a better strategy - I've been trying too hard and the start, then blowing up at the 8K mark each time). But VDOT training will form the basis of my plans - reaching my goals and avoiding injury will be a measure of the method's success. Assuming I can master the contents of the book, and actually work out a proper training plan.

    Some criticisms have been on the focus on running, and not doing anything else such as cross training, strength work in the gym etc. but this is addressed to some extent in the 2nd Edition. Personally, I would like more guidance on how to map different conditions to performances - obviously, different conditions - especially non-track running) will affect performances considerably. And there is no mention of age - I would like to see something on this (there is the idea that VO2Max delclines by 1 or 2% each year from the age of 25 onwards). Other than that, the book is a great read, and very interesting, even if you don't adopt the methods.

    Hope that helps!

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    agree with all jacks comments,

    I got the book about 5 months ago, it has changed my running training considerably, making it far more focused, plus despite my knowledge of physiology from medicine I learnt alot about what the different types of training are aiming to achieve physiologically wise.

    I would highly recommend it, HOWEVER, don't expect fast results, the paces given are designed to give you a progressive and gradual improvement in performance, i have moved 5 VDOTs in 5 months, which is not bad going. Train at the paces given, don't be tempted to go faster.

    I would highly recommend this style of training, paces help you to focus more.
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