Fit­ter than ever!

The Proven Way to Run Stronger For Longer

Runner's World (UK) - - Front Page -

One of the rea­sons run­ners have fo­cused specif­i­cally on OBLA for so long is that it ap­pears to be an im­por­tant predictor of rac­ing per­for­mance. ‘It gives some idea of where some­one’s crit­i­cal power is,’ says John Hal­li­will, an ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist at the Univer­sity of Ore­gon, US, who de­fines ‘crit­i­cal power’ as ‘how in­tensely you can ex­er­cise for a sus­tained time’.

OBLA is also one of the eas­ier per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters to change – much more re­spon­sive to train­ing than VO2 max, for ex­am­ple. In fact, in Sjodin’s study, the run­ners’ Vo2-max mea­sure­ments didn’t budge.

Jack Daniels, leg­endary run­ning coach and the author of Daniels’ Run­ning

For­mula, de­fines ‘crit­i­cal power’ more specif­i­cally, as about the pace you can hold in a one-hour race – for most of us it’s be­tween 10K and 15K.

Other stud­ies have looked di­rectly at the cor­re­la­tion be­tween VOBLA and rac­ing per­for­mance. The most re­cent comes from a group led by Jor­dan San­tos-con­ce­jero, when he was a re­searcher at the Univer­sity of the Basque Coun­try in Spain. In a 2013 ex­am­i­na­tion of 22 com­pet­i­tive run­ners (av­er­age 10K time 31:35), the re­searchers found a strong cor­re­la­tion be­tween VOBLA and 10K times. Specif­i­cally, their data re­vealed that each 10 sec­onds per mile dif­fer­ence in VOBLA cor­re­lated to about a 70-sec­ond dif­fer­ence in 10K PB.

These cor­re­la­tions are why run­ners and coaches have long been in­ter­ested in do­ing work­outs at or around OBLA pace. That said, there has also been con­fu­sion over pre­cisely what ‘at or around’ means.

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