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An easy way to determine your VO2 max

Brian Mackenzie explains how you can determine your VO2 max by jogging easily for one mile!

Using statistical techniques, Brigham Young University scientists used the heart rates, body weights, and one-mile jog times from 54 students to create a simple mathematical equation for Vo2max. They then checked the predictive power of the equation by using it to forecast the VO2 max of another 52 runners involved in the study. When these predicted VO2 max values were compared with the runners' real VO2 max, the equation was determined to be remarkably accurate. The equation will be most accurate for athletes aged 18 to 29, but older athletes can still use the formula to monitor gains in fitness and get a ballpark figure for their VOvmax.

Here is what to do:

  • Warm-up by jogging for a couple of minutes
  • Jog one mile at a leisurely, steady pace, making sure that you take longer (yes longer) than eight minutes (males), or more than nine minutes (females).
  • Record how long it takes you to jog one mile
  • Record your heart rate immediately at the end of the mile

To estimate your VO2 max, you will require your:

  1. Weight in kilograms (W)
  2. The time it took you to run one mile in decimal format (T)
  3. Heart Rate at the end of the run (H)

Male Athletes

VO2 max = 108.844 - 0.1636W - 1.438T - 0.1928H

Female Athletes

VO2 max = 100.5 - 0.1636W - 1.438T - 0.1928H


  • Kathy is a female runner
  • Weight (W) = 63.2 kgs
  • Time (T) for the 1-mile run was 10 minutes 15 seconds = 10.25
  • Heart rate (H) at the end of the run was 132bpm

Kathy's VO2 max = 100.5 - (0.1636 x 63.2) - (1.438 x 10.25) - (0.1928 x 132)
= 100.5 - 10.34 - 14.74 - 25. 45
= 49.97 ml/kg/min

Article Reference

This article first appeared in:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) Easy way to determine your VO2 max. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 9 / February), p. 14

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) Easy way to determine your VO2 max [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Brian Mackenzie is a British Athletics level 4 performance coach and a coach tutor/assessor. He has been coaching sprint, middle distance and combined event athletes for the past 30+ years and has 45+ years of experience as an endurance athlete.