Time Trials

The first time trial, run at the Tuesday Track workout at the Woburn High School on May 14, 2024, was a great success! Runners had the choice of racing either 1 mile or 2 miles. We used a staggered start, where runners didn’t all start at once, though could start with their friends if they wanted. We used the start lines for the 1 mile and the 2 mile that are marked on the track, just a few meters before the finish line. We all cheered each other on to music and a warm and sunny spring day, and raced against the clock to get our baseline VDOT and age-and-sex adjusted performance scores.

VDOT is a measure of running ability based on race results. It is close to VO2 max, but accounts for running economy and more accurately reflects race performance. Working on your VDOT score will help you with whatever your running and fitness goals may be.

After racing a time trial, or any race for that matter, you can look up your appropriate training paces using the free online VDOT calculator or by using the free VDOT calculator app. Sticking to your appropriate training paces is important because it will allow you to get the maximum benefit without overstressing your body. Use the least stress that provides the maximum benefit, not maximum stress for the same benefit. Stick to your appropriate training paces to achieve this balance.

The age-and-sex adjusted performance scoring is on a scale of 1-10. It is taken from the “Daniels’ Running Formula” book. It’s a great way to stay motivated, and it levels the playing field, whether you’re young or old, female or male. Older runners very well may than younger runners, and female runners very well may outperform male runners of the same age, and in such cases absolute race times can be deceiving.

There are unaccounted factors still however, as independent of age and sex we all have different:

  • inherent ability (eg biomechanical or physiological)
  • motivation
  • opportunity (eg weather, facilities, travel)
  • direction (eg program or coach).

Performance Score Ratings

Novice: 1 and 2
Intermediate: 3-5
Good: 6-8
Elite: 9-10