Use of perceived exertion in a field setting to indicate exercise intensity at or near the ventilatory threshold

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Sports Medicine, Training and Rehabilitation


Exercise Science


The purpose of this study was to examine exercise intensity while perceptually pacing at 12 to 14 (somewhat hard) on the Borg scale during outdoor running. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), ventilatory threshold, and related variables were measured during treadmill running. Submax VO2 was collected during a 1.6 km run while pacing between 12 and 14 on the Borg scale. In order to collect expired gases during this run, a Douglas bag was fitted to a backpack frame and data were collected during the last 0.4 km of the 1.6 km run. To minimize pacing errors, three 2.4 km runs while perceptually pacing were completed. VO2max averaged 41.3 ml?min?1.kg?1 and ventilatory threshold was 64.4% of VO2max. The submax VO2 while perceptually pacing was 71.2% of VO2max. This value was slightly, although nonsignificantly (p > 0.05), higher than the percentage of VO2max at ventilatory threshold. The results indicate that distance run pacing at 12 to 14 on the Borg scale is near ventilatory threshold and within the acceptable exercise intensity range indicated by the American College of Sports Medicine to produce cardiorespira?tory training adaptations.