Paavolainen, L., Hakkinen, K., Hamalainen, I., Nummela, A., & Rusko, H. (1999). Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power. Journal of Applied Physiology, 86, 1527-1533.

For nine weeks, well-trained athletes (N = 10) performed endurance training and explosive strength training while a control group (N = 8) performed only endurance training. Training volumes were the same for both groups but explosive training replaced 32% of work in the experimental group and 3% in the control group.

The experimental group improved significantly in 5-km running time, running economy, and velocity in maximal anaerobic treadmill running. The control group did not improve in these factors but improved significantly in VO2max, whereas the experimental group did not.

It was suggested that the replacement of some endurance training with explosive-strength training improved neuromuscular characteristics that transferred to improved muscle power and running economy. No suggestion was offered as to why improved VO2max in the control group did not contribute to performance change.

Implication. In established endurance trained athletes, the addition of very sport-specific auxiliary training might improve performances.

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