Heise, G. D., Rapacki, L., Dunlavy, J., White, G., Dounglomehunt, P., Binks, L., Poston, B., & Shinohara, M. (2006). Relation between running economy and continuous jumping mechanical power measures. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 863.

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"The inter-individual variability in running economy has been explained by mechanical power with limited success; however the recovery of elastic energy is typically not included in traditional mechanical power estimates. Runners utilizing more elastic energy, which is free of metabolic cost, would be expected to be more economical (i.e., less oxygen cost for a given distance)".

This study determined if mechanical power (measured with a continuous jumping test) was inversely related to running economy. The jumping test was designed to evaluate maximal power, including the elastic potential of muscle. Healthy, experienced, female runners (N = 16) performed a 60-seconds, continuous jumping test after a warm-up. After at least 10-minutes of rest, Ss performed a 30-minute treadmill run at a self-selected, submaximal speed. Indirect calorimetry was used to measure oxygen consumption during the final four minutes of running. Running economy was defined as VO2 averaged over the final 30 sconds and normalized to running speed (ml/kg/km). Mechanical power was calculated for the first 15 seconds, the first 30 seconds, and the entire 60 seconds of the jumping test and each measure was correlated with running economy.

Mechanical power decreased as longer durations of jumping were analyzed. The range of running economy, when expressed as a percent of the mean, was 22%. Running economy was not related to any measure of mechanical power.

Implication. Running economy is not related to continuous jumping-based mechanical power measures.

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