MIDDLE DISTANCE RUNNING PERFORMANCE IS A FUNCTION OF VO2max AND RUNNING ECONOMY
Nevill, A. M., Ingham, S. A., Pedlar, C., Dunman, N., & Whyte, G. (2007). Identifying the optimal determinants of elite 800m and 1500m running performance. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 1413.
The purpose of this study was to identify the optimal aerobic determinants of elite middle distance running performance using proportional curvilinear/allometric models. National and international male and female 800m and 1500m runners (N = 62) undertook an incremental step test to maximum exhaustion. Average sub-maximal running economy, velocity at lactate threshold, maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and velocity associated with VO2max (vVO2max) were used to predict the best performance speed recorded over four weeks.
Significant differences in running speeds were due to sex and distance, with VO2max and running economy being the only significant covariate predictors. The results suggested a proportional curvilinear association between running speed and a ratio involving VO2max and running economy that explained 95.9% of the variance in performance. The model was cross-validated with a further group (N = 14) of highly trained middle-distance runners, demonstrating strong agreement between predicted and actual running performance.
Implication. A proportional curvilinear power-function ratio of VO2max divided by running economy explains 95.9% of the variance in middle-distance running performance.
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