Reliability and variability of running economy in elite distance runners

Philo U Saunders, David B Pyne, Richard D. Telford, John A. Hawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish the typical error (TE) associated with equipment, testing, and biological variation of a running economy (RE) test in 11 elite male distance runners (VO2max 70.3 +/- 7.3 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)), and measure the between-athlete variation of 70 highly trained runners (VO2max 69.7 +/- 6.0 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)) to determine the magnitude of the smallest worthwhile change (SWC) required for RE.

METHODS: Runners performed three 4-min bouts of submaximal treadmill running at speeds of 14, 16, and 18 km x h(-1) (0% grade), on two separate occasions within a 7-d period to determine reliability and once over a 3-yr period to measure the SWC. During all RE tests O2 consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR), stride rate (SR), and concentration of blood lactate (Lac) were determined.

RESULTS: The TE for the pooled data of three running speeds (14, 16, and 18 km x h(-1)) was 2.4% for VO2, 7.3% for VE, 27% for Lac, and ranged between 1 and 4% for RER, HR, and SR.

CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate that although the magnitude of the TE for a submaximal treadmill running protocol of three 4-min work efforts is small (2.4-7.3%) for measures associated with cardiorespiratory parameters, it is three- to fourfold higher for Lac. Given the small TE associated with RE, and a SWC of similar magnitude for this cohort of distance runners, the RE test is useful in detecting changes attributable to training interventions. Changes in RE greater than approximately 2.4% in this cohort of elite distance runners are likely to be "real" and "worthwhile," and not simply related to testing error and typical variation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1972-6
Number of pages5
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume36
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Lactic Acid
Ventilation
Heart Rate
Athletes
Equipment and Supplies

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Saunders, Philo U ; Pyne, David B ; Telford, Richard D. ; Hawley, John A. / Reliability and variability of running economy in elite distance runners. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2004 ; Vol. 36, No. 11. pp. 1972-6.
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Reliability and variability of running economy in elite distance runners. / Saunders, Philo U; Pyne, David B; Telford, Richard D.; Hawley, John A.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 36, No. 11, 11.2004, p. 1972-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reliability and variability of running economy in elite distance runners

AU - Saunders, Philo U

AU - Pyne, David B

AU - Telford, Richard D.

AU - Hawley, John A.

PY - 2004/11

Y1 - 2004/11

N2 - PURPOSE: To establish the typical error (TE) associated with equipment, testing, and biological variation of a running economy (RE) test in 11 elite male distance runners (VO2max 70.3 +/- 7.3 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)), and measure the between-athlete variation of 70 highly trained runners (VO2max 69.7 +/- 6.0 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)) to determine the magnitude of the smallest worthwhile change (SWC) required for RE.METHODS: Runners performed three 4-min bouts of submaximal treadmill running at speeds of 14, 16, and 18 km x h(-1) (0% grade), on two separate occasions within a 7-d period to determine reliability and once over a 3-yr period to measure the SWC. During all RE tests O2 consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR), stride rate (SR), and concentration of blood lactate (Lac) were determined.RESULTS: The TE for the pooled data of three running speeds (14, 16, and 18 km x h(-1)) was 2.4% for VO2, 7.3% for VE, 27% for Lac, and ranged between 1 and 4% for RER, HR, and SR.CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate that although the magnitude of the TE for a submaximal treadmill running protocol of three 4-min work efforts is small (2.4-7.3%) for measures associated with cardiorespiratory parameters, it is three- to fourfold higher for Lac. Given the small TE associated with RE, and a SWC of similar magnitude for this cohort of distance runners, the RE test is useful in detecting changes attributable to training interventions. Changes in RE greater than approximately 2.4% in this cohort of elite distance runners are likely to be "real" and "worthwhile," and not simply related to testing error and typical variation.

AB - PURPOSE: To establish the typical error (TE) associated with equipment, testing, and biological variation of a running economy (RE) test in 11 elite male distance runners (VO2max 70.3 +/- 7.3 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)), and measure the between-athlete variation of 70 highly trained runners (VO2max 69.7 +/- 6.0 mL x min(-1) x kg(-1)) to determine the magnitude of the smallest worthwhile change (SWC) required for RE.METHODS: Runners performed three 4-min bouts of submaximal treadmill running at speeds of 14, 16, and 18 km x h(-1) (0% grade), on two separate occasions within a 7-d period to determine reliability and once over a 3-yr period to measure the SWC. During all RE tests O2 consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR), stride rate (SR), and concentration of blood lactate (Lac) were determined.RESULTS: The TE for the pooled data of three running speeds (14, 16, and 18 km x h(-1)) was 2.4% for VO2, 7.3% for VE, 27% for Lac, and ranged between 1 and 4% for RER, HR, and SR.CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate that although the magnitude of the TE for a submaximal treadmill running protocol of three 4-min work efforts is small (2.4-7.3%) for measures associated with cardiorespiratory parameters, it is three- to fourfold higher for Lac. Given the small TE associated with RE, and a SWC of similar magnitude for this cohort of distance runners, the RE test is useful in detecting changes attributable to training interventions. Changes in RE greater than approximately 2.4% in this cohort of elite distance runners are likely to be "real" and "worthwhile," and not simply related to testing error and typical variation.

KW - Adult

KW - Exercise Test

KW - Humans

KW - Lactic Acid

KW - Male

KW - Oxygen Consumption

KW - Physical Education and Training

KW - Reference Values

KW - Reproducibility of Results

KW - Running

KW - Sports Medicine

KW - Clinical Trial

KW - Journal Article

KW - Validation Studies

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 1972

EP - 1976

JO - Medicine Science in Sports Exercise

JF - Medicine Science in Sports Exercise

SN - 0195-9131

IS - 11

ER -