In a recent Youth Runner Coaching Crowdcast Coach, one of the topics that Coach Bob Williams discussed was "How to Rate Your Perceived Effort." This was also in the May-June Issue of Youth Runner Magazine.

Have you ever wondered what it means when your coach says to go out and run a lap at 50 percent? If you’ve been guessing all this time here’s the answer, it is called the perceived effort of your workout. Coach Bob breaks it down so it’s easier to understand.

Chart was first created by Coach Dick Brown - Eugene, Oregon


First column is rating of 1-10
Second column is the level of your VO2 max.
1-4 rating will be 90% of your training - light to moderate.
5-8 is the other 10% of training – moderate to difficult.
Never go to 9-10 in training. That is saved for your racing.


"Learning how to manage your discomfort and your easy training with light running is critical to your future running success, said Coach Bob."

Most athletes can get in two vigorous sessions a week and maybe another half session. That’s about it. Which is why learning how to run easy days is so critical to get the most out of your heavy days.

Example: If you go for an out and back in 20 minutes easy and come back that would be a 5-6 that is moderate to hard training. That is one way to learn to how to push your body moderate to get real value out of it and get a feeling for your “Perceived Effort.”


What is VO2 Max?

Or maximal oxygen uptake, which is one factor than can determine a runners capac- ity to perform sustained aerobic efforts.


To watch the replay of Coach Bob's Crowdcast go here.