Neuromuscular factors determining 5 km running performance and running economy in well-trained athletes
European Journal of Applied Physiology
KIHU - Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Rautpohjankatu 6, 40700 Jyväskylä, Finland; Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
This study investigated the effects of the neuromuscular and force-velocity characteristics in distance running performance and running economy. Eighteen well-trained male distance runners performed five different tests: 20 m maximal sprint, running economy at the velocity of 4.28 m s-1, 5 km time trial, maximal anaerobic running test (MART), and a treadmill test to determine VO2max. The AEMG ratio was calculated by the sum average EMG (AEMG) of the five lower extremity muscles during the 5 km divided by the sum AEMG of the same muscles during the maximal 20 m sprinting. The runners' capacity to produce power above VO2max (MART VO2gain) was calculated by subtracting VO2max from the oxygen demand of the maximal velocity in the MART (VMART). Velocity of 5 km (V5K) correlated with VMART (r=0.77, p<0.001) and VO2max (r=0.49, p<0.05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that MART VO2gain and VO2max explained 73% of the variation in V5K. A significant relationship also existed between running economy and MART VO2gain (r=0.73, p<0.01). A significant correlation existed between V5K and AEMG ratio during the ground contact phase at the 3 km (r=0.60, p<0.05) suggesting that neural input may affect distance running performance. The results of the present study support the idea that distance running performance and running economy are related to neuromuscular capacity to produce force and that the VMART can be used as a determinant of distance-running performance. © Springer-Verlag 2006.
adolescent; adult; anaerobic exercise; analysis of variance; article; athlete; correlation analysis; electromyogram; exercise physiology; exercise test; human; human experiment; leg muscle; male; multiple linear regression analysis; muscle force; muscle function; muscle strength; neuromuscular function; normal human; oxygen consumption; physical capacity; priority journal; running; task performance; Adult; Electromyography; Exertion; Humans; Male; Muscle Contraction; Muscle, Skeletal; Oxygen Consumption; Physical Endurance; Psychomotor Performance; Running