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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2004 March;44(1):8-14

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physiological variables to use in the gender comparison in highly trained runners

Maldonado-Martín S., Mujika I., Padilla S.

Department of Research and Development Medical Services Athletic Club of Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain


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Aim. The aims of this investigation were to compare physiological characteristics between highly trained middle-distance and marathon male (n=17) and female (n=11) runners; to determine the most suitable variables to use in the gender comparison in these subjects, considering physical difference between genders; and to indicate some of the best predictors of performance in running events in which oxidative metabolism prevails.
Methods. Subjects performed a progressive maximal exercise on the treadmill to determine maximal oxygen uptake (V.O2max) and velocities corresponding to a blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol · l-1 (υOBLA) and to the lactate threshold (υLT). Cost of running (Cr) and maximal aerobic velocity (υa max) were calculated from V.O2 measurements.
Results. Males presented higher V.O2max, υa max, υOBLA, υLT, and V.O2 @ υOBLA and υLT (p<0.001), but females had higher υOBLA and υLT (p<0.01) expressed as %V.O2max. υa max correlated with performance time relative to the world record in both, females (r=-0.77, p<0.01) and males (r=-0.58, p<0.05); and υLT with performance only in males (r=-0.59, p<0.05).
Conclusion. In conclusion, female athletes seemed to compensate partly their aerobic profile with higher %V.O2max @ υOBLA and υLT, suggesting that both maximal and submaximal physiological variables should be considered when evaluating and comparing highly trained athletes of both genders. υa max is one of the best predictors of performance in running events in which oxidative metabolism prevails.

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