Critical speed as a predictor of aerobic performance in children

Italo Quenni Araujo de Vasconcelos, Luís Paulo Gomes Mascarenhas, Anderson Zampier Ulbrich, Antonio Stabelini Neto, Rodrigo Bozza, Wagner de Campos


ABSTRACT To compare times achieved in a 1,600m rural road run with the times predicted from critical speed, in addition to verify any association between critical speed and VO2max with the aerobic performance (1,600m time) of children. The sample consisted of 25 boys and 39 girls, aged 9 to 11 years. Their critical speeds were determined using the work versus time model, performed in the 200m and 800m maximum runs. The value of VO2max was measured using a 20-meter shuttlerun test. Endurance performance was determinate from the time obtained in a rural 1,600m road run. Statistical procedures used were descriptive analyses, Student’s t test and Pearson’s moment correlation, with signifi cance level set at p<0.05. The times achieved for aerobic performance were significantly lower than the performance predicted from critical speed, for both sexes (males: 8.43 ± 0.78 min versus 10.16 ± 1.37 min; females: 9.09 ± 0.75 min versus 10.30 ± 1.09 min) (p=0.0001). Significant inverse relationships were observed between critical speed and aerobic performance for both subsets (males: r= -0.52; females: r= -0.70), and between VO2max and aerobic performance in the case of females (r= -0.48). In this study critical speed was not shown to be a predictor of performance in a 1,600m road run. However, the significant correlations observed suggest that critical speed could be used as a tool to control endurance training in children.


Velocidade crítica; Desempenho aeróbio; Crianças. <p> Critical speed; Aerobic performance; Children.


The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.