Interest in pediatric ergometric parameters as predictors of athletic performance has increased parallel to the dramatic increase in childhood competitive sports. In adult athletes, anaerobic threshold (AT) appears to be more predictive of performance rank (PR) than maximum oxygen consumption (V̇o2max).1 For reasons yet to be defined, prepubertal children are felt to have less anaerobic capacity than adults.2 The predictive value of AT vs oxygen consumption (V̇o2) of PR in ten prepubertal female cross-country runners was evaluated.
Parental informed consent was given to evaluate ten highly conditioned female cross-country runners, aged 10 to 13 years and Tanner stage 0, after a season of competition. Their training schedule had consisted of four 1½-hour workouts per week for three months. Each workout included running four intermittent 440-yd (402-m) distances at race pace interspersed with a jogging pace and finishing with a 3-mile (4.8-km) run at