We’re excited to announce age-graded VDOT levels on the app. We haven’t updated anyone’s score (they’re still achieved by your race performances) but the level you achieve is now graded by age and gender. This update was designed by Dr. Jack Daniels and inspired by his physical education experience, which motivated him to improve fitness and become an athlete.

My primary goal for developing the age-graded VDOT tables is to try to increase the general health and fitness of our population, which may be getting worse with the ending of Physical Education classes in our school system. In my years of high school, we had one hour of P. E. class each day for four years. We had fitness tests that resulted in achieving different color categories, like we do in the VDOT age tables. Three of us in my class who reached the top color category (Gold) qualified for the Olympic Games just six years after high school.

I would like to see which school systems or states in the United States see the most achievements based on our age-graded run performances. Of course it will be interesting to see performance results in older age categories as well as in the younger ones. 

In my 45-year longitudinal study of elite endurance runners we found that those who continued running all the way to age 70 and beyond showed some outstanding fitness results in their older years.  Interestingly, those who continued running and gained some weight still performed better in fitness tests than others who didn’t gain weight, but didn’t continue running. 

Dr. Jack Daniels

How It Works

The new age-graded tables for runners makes it fun to compare and equate performances across age, gender, distance and allow you to track your best overall performances over time. For instance, this athlete on our app ran a 2:57:04 marathon in London at 69-years-old (56.4 VDOT, Level 10), which equates to the same level of performance as Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:02:37 (83.9 VDOT, Level 10).

In the example above, an F56 runner who runs a 3:17:17 marathon scores a 48 VDOT and that achieves the same level (Level 8 out of 10) compared to an M26 runner who completes a marathon in 2:15:26. Both have achieved Dr. Daniels “Sub-Elite” category. All levels are based on Dr. Jack Daniels’ data and do not apply to anyone between the ages of 18-38.

4LavenderPDG (Pretty Darn Good)
5OrangePDG (Pretty Darn Good)
6GreenPDG (Pretty Darn Good)
7Hot PinkSub-Elite
8Royal BlueSub-Elite
10GoldElite (Olympic)

Log in or set up and account on VDOT O2 to learn what level you’ve reached. Save your performances and determine which are your best over time. Share with friends using our new share workout feature and motivate them to improve their VDOT score/level.