If your question is not answered below, please email us directly at elitestudy@stanford.edu.

  • What are the criteria to participate in ELITE?
  • Do I have to come to Stanford to participate?
  • I did a VO2max-test ten years ago, is that OK?
  • What are the benefits to the participants for enrolling? Do they get paid?
  • Must I leave blood?
  • What protections does my sample have when in your possession?
  • Is this research being sponsored by any outside entities such as a pharma company? If so would they have access to my profile?
  • I have an estimate of my VO2max from my smartwatch--can I still participate?
  • I'm an elite endurance athlete but I have never done a VO2max-test. Can you help me with that?
  • What are the different types of VO2max testing?
  • What if I don't know my VO2max but think I might qualify--how fast are runners with a VO2max of 55+ for women and 65+ for men?
  • Which countries are currently recruiting for the study? What can I do if I don't live in a country that is actively recruiting?



To participate, you need a VO2max of 55+ or 65+ (female and male, respectively). The value can be from either a lab max test or a smartwatch estimate. You also need to be 18 years or older on the day you enroll.




No, the consent form and questionnaire can be filled out from your home, and the saliva sample kit and pre-paid return envelope can be sent to you as well.





Yes, since we are looking at the DNA your VO2max-test can have been done at any time (even 30 years ago), and you can still be enrolled and give a saliva sample now.







While we cannot provide a financial incentive to all 10,000 individuals we plan to recruit, we do hope to offer them with the opportunity to receive a copy of their raw genomes once they have been sequenced.









No, you just leave a saliva sample (spit in a tube).










All samples and genetic information are deidentified (i.e. given a code instead of your name or anything that could be used to identify you within reason) and stored in a secure location. Additionally, the enrollment REDCap survey is conducted through a secure platform to which only HIPAA-certified study researchers have access. All data are stored on secure, encrypted servers and all analyses are conducted using deidentified data. You can find more information on our Privacy Page.












No and No. We do not release your information to any companies. This research is sponsored by philanthropy as part of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance. Learn more about this scientific research and technology partnership here.















Yes! Even if you only have a smartwatch VO2max estimate, you may participate in the ELITE Study.

















Yes, we may be able to provide you with a VO2max if you have never been tested. Please contact us if you are interested.



















Lab Max Test: Test performed to failure while connected to a machine capable of measuring expired air.

Estimate from Maximal Performance Test: Test performed to failure while not connected to any machine capable of measuring expired air. An example of a maximal performance test is the Cooper Test (12-minute run).

Estimate from Submaximal Test: Test performed at a non-maximal level where only heart rate, time, and potentially distance are measured. Examples of a submaximal test include the 6-minute walk test, 3-minute step test, and the rockport fitness walking test.

Estimate from an activity tracker: The VO2 value estimated by your activity tracker, for example Garmin, Apple Watch, Coros Watch, etc.




















A VO2max of 55+ often translates to a least an 18 min 5k or 38 min 10k race for female runners, while a VO2max of 65+ often translates to at least a 16 min 5k or 33 min 10k race for male runners.
























We are currently recruiting in the United States, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. We are hoping to establish collaborations in Australia and Brazil and begin recruitment there soon. If you do not reside in one of these countries but are interested in participating in the ELITE Study, please fill out this form or contact us directly at elitestudy@stanford.edu. One of our study coordinators will get back to you as soon as possible.

Get Involved

We invite faculty, students, staff, alumni, friends, and external organizations to participate in the ELITE Study at Stanford.