Factors affecting running economy in trained distance runners

Saunders, P, Hawley, J, Pyne, D and Telford, R 2004, 'Factors affecting running economy in trained distance runners', Sports Medicine, vol. 34, pp. 465-485.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Factors affecting running economy in trained distance runners
Author(s) Saunders, P
Hawley, J
Pyne, D
Telford, R
Year 2004
Journal name Sports Medicine
Volume number 34
Start page 465
End page 485
Total pages 21
Publisher Adis International
Abstract Running economy (RE) is typically defined as the energy demand for a given velocity of submaximal running, and is determined by measuring the steady-state consumption of oxygen (VO2) and the respiratory exchange ratio. Taking body mass (BM) into consideration, runners with good RE use less energy and therefore less oxygen than runners with poor RE at the same velocity. There is a strong association between RE and distance running performance, with RE being a better predictor of performance than maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) in elite runners who have a similar VO2max). RE is traditionally measured by running on a treadmill in standard laboratory conditions, and, although this is not the same as overground running, it gives a good indication of how economical a runner is and how RE changes over time. In order to determine whether changes in RE are real or not, careful standardisation of footwear, time of test and nutritional status are required to limit typical error of measurement. Under controlled conditions, RE is a stable test capable of detecting relatively small changes elicited by training or other interventions. When tracking RE between or within groups it is important to account for BM. As VO2 during submaximal exercise does not, in general, increase linearly with BM, reporting RE with respect to the 0.75 power of BM has been recommended. A number of physiological and biomechanical factors appear to influence RE in highly trained or elite runners.
Subject Exercise Physiology
Keyword(s) Running economy
Distance runners
DOI - identifier 10.2165/00007256-200434070-00005
Copyright notice © 2004 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved
ISSN 0112-1642
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