Graduation Date

Spring 2024

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Kinesiology, option Exercise Science

Committee Chair Name

Justus Ortega

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Taylor Bloedon

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Jamey Harris

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Exercise, Performance, Running

Subject Categories



For recreational and elite runners, there are a multitude of measurements designed to predict performance. Many of these “predictors of performance” cannot be measured outside a laboratory setting. One such performance predictor that can both accurately predict performance and be measured outside the laboratory, is termed Critical Speed (CS). In the most simplistic explanation, CS is the speed that represents a “heavy” intensity that can be performed for the duration of a race whereby speeds above CS represent “severe” intensities where maximal steady-state values cannot continue. While CS has been used successfully to predict running performance for the marathon (26.2 miles) distance no study has yet examined the capability of CS to predict middle-distance running performance among experienced athletes (NCAA college cross-country/track runners). Methods: Five male collegiate cross country and track athletes aged 18-30 years (x̄ = 19.60, sx = 1.51) were recruited to participate. Each participant was a highly trained distance runner, with a minimum competition race experience of two years and free of any neurological, orthopedic, or cardiovascular disorders six months prior to data collection. Each participant completed a maximal aerobic (V̇O2max mlO2/kg/min ) (x̄ = 66.86, sx = 4.05) test to determine maximum aerobic fitness and ventilatory threshold (L/min) (x̄ = 3.16, sx = .46). After several day’s rest, we determined each participant’s CS (maximal aerobic steady state) and Dʹ (anaerobic energy reserve) using three maximal effort distance tests (1200m, 3000m, and 4000m) on a standard 400m outdoor track with several days’ rest between trials. Following calculations of each participant’s CS (m/s) (x̄ = 5.11, sx = .19) and Dʹ (m) (x̄ = 196.60, sx = 26.63), participant 5-kilometer race times (s) (x̄ = 954.80, sx = 36.19) and relative rank were measured at one NCAA sanctioned 5000m race. Regression analysis was used to identify the correlation between relative rank (relative rank of finish position) and our independent variables of CS (r = -.62, p = .13), Dʹ (r = -.071, p = .45), V̇O2max (r = .281, p = .32), and ventilatory threshold (r = -.66, p = .12). In our secondary objective regression analysis was performed between elapsed race time (ERT) and our independent variables CS (r = -.65, p = .12), Dʹ (r = -.11, p = .43), V̇O2max (r = .24, p = .35), and ventilatory threshold (r = -.75, p = .07). Conclusion: The current study did not find any significance between any of our independent variables: CS, Dʹ, V̇O2max, VT. Dependent variables: relative rank, ERT.

Citation Style


Available for download on Monday, May 03, 2027