Dissociation between running economy and running performance in elite Kenyan distance runners
Journal of Sports Sciences
University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia; Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom; Department of Physiology, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Department of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya; School of Sport and Service Management, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, United Kingdom
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between running economy (RE) and performance in a homogenous group of competitive Kenyan distance runners. Maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) (68.8 ± 3.8 ml∙kg−1∙min−1) was determined on a motorised treadmill in 32 Kenyan (25.3 ± 5.0 years; IAAF performance score: 993 ± 77 p) distance runners. Leg anthropometry was assessed and moment arm of the Achilles tendon determined. While Achilles moment arm was associated with better RE (r2 = 0.30, P = 0.003) and upper leg length, total leg length and total leg length to body height ratio were correlated with running performance (r = 0.42, P = 0.025; r = 0.40, P = 0.030 and r = 0.38, P = 0.043, respectively), RE and maximal time on treadmill (tmax) were not associated with running performance (r = −0.01, P = 0.965; r = 0.27; P = 0.189, respectively) in competitive Kenyan distance runners. The dissociation between RE and running performance in this homogenous group of runners would suggest that RE can be compensated by other factors to maintain high performance levels and is in line with the idea that RE is only one of many factors explaining elite running performance. © 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
achilles tendon; adult; anatomy and histology; body height; body mass; competitive behavior; endurance; exercise test; human; Kenya; leg; male; oxygen consumption; physiology; running; young adult; Achilles Tendon; Adult; Body Height; Body Mass Index; Competitive Behavior; Exercise Test; Humans; Kenya; Leg; Male; Oxygen Consumption; Physical Endurance; Running; Young Adult