OBJECTIVE: To compare the maximum energy cost of running (MECR) estimated from the speed of a mile run and the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) with a field step test. METHODS: MECR was defined as the maximum VO2, derived from the equation VO2 = 5.3 mph + 3.9 (ml.min-1.kg-1), when the subject performs a maximal, exhausting run and attains maximum speed. The equation is based on a straight line relation between speed and VO2. In this study MECR was obtained from a mile run and was compared with VO2max by extrapolation using a step test. Both tests were performed in the field. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The variation in the MECR with VO2max was within +/- 10%. It therefore appears that the speed of a mile run is a good criterion of VO2max or estimated MECR for the measurement of physical fitness, and for the selection, recruitment, and assignment of an individual in field sports.
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