SPRINTERS AND DISTANCE RUNNERS RESPOND DIFFERENTLY TO EXERCISE
Torok, D. J., Duey, W. J., Bassett, D. R., Jr., Howley, E. T., & Mancuso, P. (1995). Cardiovascular responses to exercise in sprinters and distance runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27, 1050-1056.
This study examined the cardiovascular responses of sprinters (M = 6) and distance runners (M = 6) to isometric and dynamic exercise. Testing was performed on a cycle ergometer and for isometric measures a handgrip test at 30% maximum grip strength was used.
It was found that sprinters and distance runners had different hemodynamic adjustments to exercise. Isometric exercise produced a greater blood pressure response in sprinters which was associated with an elevated heart rate response. During dynamic exercise at the same relative work rate, both groups had similar blood pressure values. However, distance runners responded with higher cardiac indexes and lower systemic vascular responses.
It was suggested that fiber type and/or alterations in micro-vessel density induced by training may influence the cardiovascular responses to these forms of exercise stress.
Implication. Individuals respond to exercise according to their capacities. Sprinters should be expected to respond differently to distance athletes when given the same exercise stimulation. This fact undermines the value of expedient training programs where all athletes perform the same activities because a coach believes that all responses would be similar.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.