Calculating Running Power

When you assess running / sprinting ability, performance is usually measured as the speed or time over a set distance. This is usually the most appropriate measure of power output, however sometimes you want to know the running power.

A 100 kg person running 40 meters in 6 seconds is very different to a 70 kg person running the same distance in the same time. Momentum is greater for the heavier person, and in contact sports this would be advantageous, however in other sports this would mean that stopping and changing direction would be more difficult.



Calculating power output for human running is complex, and below we have just an example for a 60kg person. The table lists power output for human walking (0 to 4 mph) and running (5+ mph), for a 60 kg person. This is an estimation, and does not take into account variations in differences in running efficiency. Runners of different weight will have different power scores.

Velocity
(mph)
Velocity
(meters/min)
Oxygen
Consumption
(mL/min)
Power
(kcal/min)
Power
(watts)
 0  0  210  1.01  70
 2  54  530  2.57  179
 3  81  700  3.35  233
 4  107  850  4.11  286
 5  134  1820  8.76  610
 6  161  2140  10.3  719
 7.5  201  2630  12.7  883
 10  268  3430  16.5  1150
 15  403  5050  24.3  1690

sprint power calculationsSource: The table values are calculated from equations in: American College of Sports Medicine. Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 4th edition. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1991, p. 285-300.

Running Uphill

If you are running on trails with many uphill and downhill sections, then power output and energy expenditure will be different. See the page about calculating running power on a treadmill.



Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

Testing Extra

We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer. To keep up with the latest in sport science and this website, subscribe to our newsletter. We are also on facebook and twitter.

 → How to Cite