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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 March;41(1):18-26


language: English

Running economy and delayed onset muscle soreness

Calbet J. A. L., Chavarren J., Dorado C.

From the Department of Physical Education University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain


Background. The ­main pur­pose of ­this ­study was to ­test the ­effects of a duath­lon com­pe­ti­tion on run­ning econ­o­my.
Methods. Experimental ­design: a pros­pec­tive ­study. Setting: Uni­ver­sity. Participants: ­nine ­male and six ­female phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion stu­dents, ­which ­mean (SEM) age was 24.0 (1.3) ­years. Measures: sub­jects par­tic­i­pat­ed in two com­pet­i­tive duath­lons: D1 and D2 (5 km run­ning + 16 km ­cycling + 2 km run­ning). Before D1, an incre­men­tal exer­cise ­test on the tread­mill was per­formed to deter­mine the V˙O2max, the run­ning ­speed at exhaus­tion (­vmax), and the V˙O2, as ­well as the run­ning ­speed (υ) at­tained at the ­first and sec­ond ven­til­a­to­ry thresh­old (V˙O2V˙T1, υV˙T1, V˙O2V˙T2, uV˙T2). Two ­days lat­er run­ning econ­o­my (RE1) was ­assessed at ­four dif­fer­ent ­speeds cor­re­spond­ing to 58, 63, 67 and 71% of the ­υmax. During the fol­low­ing six ­weeks the sub­jects ­trained 4 ­days a ­week, run­ning all ­them 210 km in ­total. At the end of the train­ing pro­gram the incre­men­tal exer­cise ­test and the duath­lon com­pe­ti­tion ­were repeat­ed (D2). Two and sev­en ­days ­after the sec­ond duath­lon run­ning econ­o­my was meas­ured ­again (RE2 and RE3, respec­tive­ly).
Results. Small, but sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments ­were ­observed in duath­lon per­for­mance, V˙O2max, ­υmax, υV˙T1, V˙O2V˙T2 and υV˙T2, ­after train­ing. Two ­days ­after D2 the oxy­gen ­cost of run­ning was ~5% high­er ­than sev­en ­days ­after D2 (p<0.001). The res­pir­a­to­ry ­exchange ­ratio ­increased by ~0.04 ­units ­between RE2 and RE3 (p<0.001). However, the ­increase in fat oxi­da­tion in RE2 ­only account­ed for ~20% of the ­extra oxy­gen ­cost of run­ning (RE2 vs RE3). No sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­enc­es ­across ­tests ­were ­observed for ven­ti­la­tion (V˙E), ­heart ­rate, V˙CO2 and V˙E/V˙CO2.
Conclusions. This ­study ­shows ­that two ­days ­after a duath­lon com­pe­ti­tion run­ning econ­o­my is ­impaired, how­ev­er, sev­en ­days ­after the com­pe­ti­tion the oxy­gen ­cost of run­ning is ­restored.

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