VO2 Max Runners Calculator

Created by Filip Derma and Aleksandra Zając, MD
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Steven Wooding
Based on research by
Dr. Jack Daniels Daniels’ Running Formula
Last updated: Nov 24, 2022

VO2 max runners calculator is dedicated to all runners and other athletes who want to check their personal maximal oxygen consumption.

Knowing this critical parameter is essential for every endurance sports competitor to train consciously and effectively (see training pace calculator).

We prepared an article for you, where you can find some brief information about what VO2 max is, the highest VO2 max rates, and instructions for the calculator. Use our calculator and find your VO2 max value in seconds!

A runner training at her highest VO2 max

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace a professional doctor's assessment. If any health condition bothers you, consult a physician.

What is VO2 max?

VO2 max stands for maximal oxygen consumption or maximal aerobic capacity and refers to the amount of oxygen your body can utilize in one minute. It is one of the most popular indicators of physical efficiency, especially aerobic efficiency. It is a measure of your capacity for aerobic work. It can be a predictor of your potential as an endurance athlete (see race predictor calculator) or even of future health.

Usually, athletes and trainers use the percentage value of VO2 max to express the intensity of training.

The V02 value rises significantly in teenagers (both males & females) to achieve maximal levels in ages 18-20. Later in adolescence, they gradually decrease.

VO2 max calculation – Jack Daniels formula

The most reliable way to find your VO2 max is to have it done in a lab or gym, but you can also estimate it. There are a few proven methods that allow it. For runners, the most suitable way is Jack Daniel's formula. Based on it, you can estimate your parameters from a recent running race.

Daniels's formula assumes that to achieve reliable calculations, the race distance should be between about 1500 m and 50 km (about 1 mile and a marathon). Distances outside this range will not give meaningful results since performance is limited by factors other than VO2 max.

The formulas are:

VO2max %=0.8+0.1894393e0.012778t+ 0.2989558e0.1932605t\scriptsize \begin{split} {\rm VO2_{max\ \%}} &= 0.8 + 0.1894393\, e^{-0.012778\,t}\\[.5em] &\quad+\ 0.2989558\,e^{-0.1932605\,t} \end{split}
VO2=4.60+0.182258v+0.000104v2VO2max=VO2/VO2max %,\scriptsize \! \begin{split} {\rm VO2} &= -4.60 + 0.182258\, v + 0.000104\, v^2\\[1.5em] {\rm VO2_{max}} &= {\rm VO2} / {\rm VO2_{max\ \%}}, \end{split}

where tt is the race time in minutes, and vv is race velocity in meters / minute.

💡 You also might find interesting our race time improvement calculator.

VO2 max runners calculator – how to use it?

Let's go through the example to see how properly use the calculator:

  1. First, enter your recent race distance.

    For calculations, we assume run distance = 10 km.

  2. Then, fill in the recent race time.

    For example, run time = 48 min 12 sec.

  3. Now you can see your estimated V02 levels:

    VO2 max = 41.77 ml/kg/min

    VO2 based on your race pace = 37.69 ml/kg/min,

    which is equal 90.24 % of V02 max.

VO2 norms

The average untrained healthy males reach VO2 max of approximately 35-40 ml/kg/min. The average untrained healthy female scores a VO2 max of approximately 27–31 ml/kg/min. These values can improve with training and decrease with age.

A degree of trainability may vary widely – some individuals can double their VO2 max with training, but some will never improve it, even despite regular exercising. The examples of maximal oxygen consumption (ml/kg/min) are listed below:

Gender

Age

Poor

Fair

Average

Good

Excellent

Men

under 29

under 24.9

25-33.9

34-43.9

44-52.9

over 53

30-39

under 22.9

23-30.9

31-41.9

42-49.9

over 50

40-49

under 19.9

20-26.9

27-38.9

39-44.9

over 45

50-59

under 17.9

18-24.9

25-37.9

38-42.9

over 43

60-69

under 15.9

16-22.9

23-35.9

36-40.9

over 41

Women

under 29

23.9

24-30.9

31-38.9

39-48.9

over 50

30-39

under 19.9

20-27.9

28-36.9

37-44.9

over 45

40-49

under 16.9

17-24.9

25-34.9

35-41.9

over 42

50-59

under 14.9

15-21.9

22-33.9

34-39.9

over 40

60-69

under 12.9

13-20.9

21-32.9

33-36.9

over 37

Data are based on "Essentials of Exercise Physiology, 3rd ed., W. D. McArdle, F.I. Katch, V. L. Katch, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA USA 2006".

Highest VO2 max

Professional athletes are able to achieve very high VO2 levels – especially those who compete in endurance disciplines like running, cycling, or cross-country skiing. Such high numbers are out of range for most of us amateur sportspeople. For sure, many years of tough training stimulate your body to achieve better results, but, as mentioned above, natural predispositions matter a lot. Take a look at the list below with a few V02 record holders.

  • Highest recorded female (cross-country skier): 74 ml/kg/min;

  • Highest recorded male (cross-country skier): 94 ml/kg/min;

  • Greg LeMond (professional cyclist) 92.5 ml/kg/min;

  • Miguel Indurain (professional cyclist): 88 ml/kg/min;

  • Steve Prefontaine (US runner): 84.4 ml/kg/min;

  • Jeff Galloway (US Runner): 73.0 ml/kg/min;

  • Frank Shorter (US Olympic Marathon winner): 71.3 ml/kg/min;

  • Jarmila Krotochvilova (Czech Olympian 400M/800M winner): 72.8 ml/kg/min;

  • Ingrid Kristiansen (ex-Marathon World Record Holder): 71.2 ml/kg/min; and

  • Paula Ivan (Russian Olympic 1500M Record Holder): 71.0 ml/kg/min.

Another running calculator we have is the marathon pace calculator. 🏃

Filip Derma and Aleksandra Zając, MD
Recent race data
Run distance
mi
Run time
hrs
min
sec
Aerobic capacity
VO2 max
ml / kg / min
VO2 at race
ml / kg / min
VO2 at race
% of VO2 max
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