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Balke 15-minute Run Test Calculator

This is the Balke 15-minute run test. Looking for the Balke treadmill test?


Enter the distance run in 15 minutes.



The Balke 15-minute run test provides a way to predict a runner's VO2 Max. The test is best completed on a running track with the assistance of a timekeeper.

Test procedure

Run for 15 minutes without any breaks and record the distance covered.

The test can be performed on any flat surface, but practically, a running track is best so that a precise distance can be measured.

If possible, it's also best to run in moderate weather conditions. I.e., no excessive wind, rain, or heat.

Carry out a thorough warm-up before the test to ensure you can run to the best of your ability.

The distance achieved is used to predict your VO2 Max.


  • Simple test protocol
  • Time-efficient
  • Minimal equipment and assistance required
  • Easily repeated so that progress can be monitored over time


  • Less-experienced runners may struggle with consistent pacing
  • Some runners don't have access to a running track or a suitably large and flat route

Using the calculator

To use the calculator, select your sex, enter the total distance covered, and hit Calculate.

Check out our other calculators for estimating VO2 max.

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How It Works

The runner's VO2 Max can be predicted using the following formula, taken from Frank Horwill's 1994 book, Obsession for Running:

VO2 Max = (distance ÷ 15 − 133) × 0.172 + 33.3

For example, a runner achieving a distance of 3210 in 15 minutes has an estimated VO2 Max of:

(3210 ÷ 15 − 133) × 0.172 + 33.3 = 47.2

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