I mention the term “VDOT’ a lot in my blog posts and (understandably), a lot of people don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. I base most of my training these days off of what I’ve learned from a book called Daniels’ Running Formula by Jack Daniels (the running coach, not the whiskey distiller – though I’m a fan of both).
In short, VDOT is a way of determining one’s training intensity based upon a recent race performance. The long version is that VDOT refers to the rate at which oxygen is consumed – the volume of oxygen consumed per minute. You can read more about the science behind it in Conditioning for Distance Running: The Scientific Aspects by Daniels, Fitts and Sheehan.
To learn more about how to determine your VDOT and how to apply it to your training, I highly recommend Daniels’ Running Formula. It contains a table to determine one’s VDOT based on times in various race distances. From there, you can determine appropriate paces for various workouts. The whole book is a useful read as it helps you understand why you do different types of workouts. The book has definately taken my running to the next level.