Critical velocity, anaerobic distance capacity, 3-min all out run, combat specific tasks, combat readiness, military


Over recent years, military research has focused on ways of being able to predict operational success and readiness through the development of simulated operational tasks measuring the physical limits of the soldier. Therefore, to properly prepare the tactical athlete for the demands and rigor of combat, accurate assessment of baseline physical abilities and limitations are necessary. Currently, western armies use a basic physical fitness test, which has been heavily argued to have no bearing on operational readiness, thus they are in the process of transitioning to a more specific combat readiness test. However, specific assessments to predict operational success/readiness are inefficient or lacking. A single test that requires minimal time, but provides simultaneous assessment of the necessary physical characteristics (i.e. aerobic and anaerobic capacities) may provide a unique opportunity to enhance soldier performance assessment. The 3-min all-out run, is a relatively new test that has been recently validated. It provides two performance estimates, critical velocity (CV) and anaerobic distance capacity (ADC). CV provides a measure of the individual's aerobic capacity, while the ADC is an indicator of anaerobic capacity. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to examine the relationship between CV and ADC from the 3-min all-out run and combat specific tasks (2.5-km run, 50-m casualty carry, and repeated sprints with rush shooting) in an elite special force unit. Eighteen male soldiers (age: 19.9 ± 0.8 years; height: 177.6 ± 6.6 cm; body mass: 74.1 ± 5.8 kg; BMI: 23.52 ± 1.63) from an elite combat special force unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) volunteered to complete a 3-min all-out run, while wearing a global positioning system (GPS) unit, and a battery of operational CST (2.5-km run, 50-m casualty carry and 30-m repeated sprints with "rush" shooting (RPTDS)). Estimates of CV and ADC from the 3-min all-out run were determined from the downloaded GPS data with CV calculated as the average velocity of the final 30 s of the run and ADC as the velocity-time integral above CV. CV exhibited significant negative correlations with the 2.5-km run time (r = - 0.62, p < 0.01), and RPTDS time (r = - 0.71p < 0.01). However, CV (r = - 0.31) or ADC (r = 0.16) did not show any correlation with the 50-m casualty carry run. In addition, CV was positively correlated with the average velocity during the 2.5- km run (r = 0.64, p < 0.01). Stepwise regression identified CV as the most significant performance measure associated with the 2.5-km run time, and BMI and CV measures as significant predictors of RPTDS time (R2= 0.67, p < 0.05). Our main findings indicate that CV was highly related to performance during CST, including the 2.5-km run and RPTDS, but not the 50-m casualty carry. Using the 3-min all-out run as a testing measurement offers a more efficient and simpler way in assessing both aerobic and anaerobic capabilities (CV and ADC) with-in a relatively large sample. In this regard, this method of testing may be conducive to a military type environment whether for selection purposes, to predict combat readiness, to prescribe a training program or just a need analysis for the company commander.


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Graduation Date





Stout, Jeffrey


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program

Sport and Exercise Science; Applied Exercise Physiology








Release Date

May 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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Education Commons