On a windless day, the athlete runs on an athletics track for 12 minutes. The objective is to run as far as possible in the time available. In general, this is achieved by running at a broadly constant pace; though the runner may be advised to start hard and finish up running as hard as possible.
The Cooper test page on this website interprets the results using two different formulae.
The Cooper formula is:
VO2 max = (Distance in metres – 504.9) / 44.73
It is also possible to use the formula relating VO2 max to distance and speed proposed by Daniels and Gilbert to estimate VO2 max from the results of the Balke Test:
VO2 Max=(-4.60 + 0.182258 * velocity + 0.000104 * velocity^2) / (0.8 + 0.1894393 * e^(-0.012778 * time) + 0.2989558 * e^(-0.1932605 * time))
[where velocity is in metres per minute; and time in minutes]