What is the Validity of Critical Velocity Concept for Weighted Sprinting Performance?

Research Paper Title

Validity of Critical Velocity Concept for Weighted Sprinting Performance.


The researchers investigated the validity of a recently developed equation for predicting sprinting times of various tactical loads based upon the performance of a running 3-min all-out exercise test (3MT).


Thirteen recreationally trained participants completed the running 3MT to determine critical velocity (CV) and finite running capacity for running velocities exceeding CV (D’).

Two subsequent counterbalanced loaded sprints of 800 and 1000 m distances with 20 and 15% of their body mass, respectively, were evaluated.

Estimated times (t, sec) for running 800 and 1000 m with a tactical load was derived using t = (D – D’)/CV.

Critical velocity adjusted for an added load using the following regression equation:

Original CV + (-0.0638 × %load) + 0.6982, D was 800 or 1000 m, and whole percentage load was ~15 or 20% of the participant’s body mass

From the 3MT, CV (3.80 ± 0.5 m·s-1) and D’ (200 ± 49.88 m) values were determined.


The typical error of predicting actual times for the 800 and 1000 m loaded sprints were 5.6 and 10.1 s, with corresponding ICCs of 0.95 and 0.87, and coefficient of variations of 2.9 and 4.3%.

The effect size differences between estimated and actual sprint times were small (0.27) and moderate (0.60) for 800 and 1000 m, respectively.


The adjustment to CV through the regression equation yields small to moderate overestimates of maximally loaded sprint times for distances of 800 and 1000 m.

Whether such errors remain pervasive for prescribing high-intensity interval training is unclear and requires further investigation.


Dicks, N.D., Joe, T.V., Hackney, K.J. & Pettitt, R.W. (2018) Validity of Critical Velocity Concept for Weighted Sprinting Performance. International Journal of Exercise Science. 11(4), pp.900-909. eCollection 2018.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.