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Article Title

EVALUATING THE ACCURACY OF TWO VO2MAX PREDICTION METHODS IN DIVISION I CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNERS

Abstract

Veronika Pribyslavska1, Anaelle Charles2, & Eric Scudamore1

1Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR; 2University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE

PURPOSE: Measuring and monitoring maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is vital for performance in collegiate runners. Using wearable technology to predict VO2max could be an affordable and time-efficient alternative to traditional laboratory testing. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine VO2max estimation accuracy of two wrist-worn monitors – the Polar M430 (PM430) and the Garmin 235 (G235) in NCAA division I cross-country athletes. METHODS: Twelve participants (age: 19.9 ± 1.1 years, height: 170.4 ± 7.7 cm, weight: 62.6 ± 9.4 kg, and body fat: 16.4 ± 10.4 %) performed three VO2max assessments. First, participants completed a PM430 VO2max fitness test that required wearing the watch and relaxing in a supine position for ~10 minutes while the device estimated VO2max. This measurement was performed with the lights on and then off in a counterbalanced order. Afterwards, participants reported VO2max data from their personal G235. Lastly, participants completed a laboratory measured VO2max test on a motorized treadmill that served as the criterion measure. RESULTS: Compared to the criterion VO2max measure (56.51 ± 6.00 ml.kg-1.min-1) both the G235 (59.4 ± 4.5 ml.kg1.min-1) and PM430 (lights on: 63.0 ± 5.3 ml.kg-1.min-1 and lights off: 62.92 ± 5.28 ml.kg-1.min-1) overestimated VO2max. There was no difference between the PM430 estimates of VO2max when the measurements were performed with lights on compared to lights off. In addition, an equivalency testing analysis showed that no device had its confidence interval in the equivalency zone. Overall, this indicates that VO2max estimations made by the G235 and PM430 were not considered equivalent to the criterion measure of VO2max. However, the G235 had more than ¾ of its 90% CIs contained in the equivalency zone, missing the upper end of the equivalency zone by only 0.61 ml.kg-1.min-1. In addition, the G235 had the lowest error range (4.9%), while the PM430 with the lights on had the largest error (12.1%). CONCLUSION: The study findings suggest that the G235 is more accurate than the PM430. Collegiate runners could benefit from using the G235 as an alternative tool to predict VO2max when laboratory testing is not practical. However, G235 data should be interpreted with caution as the device may slightly overestimate an athlete’s true VO2max.

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