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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2017 Sep;42(9):973-977. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0132. Epub 2017 May 26.

Physiological responses during intermittent running exercise differ between outdoor and treadmill running.

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a School of Sport Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.
b CAPS INSERM U1093, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France.
c Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.


The aim of this study was to compare the physiological responses during 15 min of intermittent running consisting of 30 s of high-intensity running exercise at maximal aerobic velocity (MAV) interspersed with 30 s of passive recovery (30-30) performed outdoor versus on a motorized treadmill. Fifteen collegiate physically active males (age, 22 ± 1 years old; body mass, 66 ± 7 kg; stature, 176 ± 06 cm; weekly training volume, 5 ± 2 h·week-1), performed the Fitness Intermittent Test 45-15 to determine maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) and MAV and then completed in random order 3 different training sessions consisting of a 30-s run/30-s rest on an outdoor athletic track (30-30 Track) at MAV; a 30-s run/30-s rest on a treadmill (30-30 Treadmill) at MAV; a 30-s run/30-s rest at MAV+15% (30-30 + 15% MAV Treadmill). Oxygen uptake (V̇O2), time above 90%V̇O2max (t90%V̇O2max), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured during each training session. We observed a statistical significant underestimation of V̇O2 (53.1 ± 5.4 mL·kg-1·min-1 vs 49.8 ± 6.7 mL·kg-1·min-1, -6.3%, P = 0.012), t90%V̇O2max (8.6% ± 11.5% vs 38.7% ± 32.5%, -77.8%, P = 0.008), RPE (11.4 ± 1.4 vs 16.5 ± 1.7, -31%, P < 0.0001) during the 30-30 Treadmill compared with the same training session performed on track. No statistical differences between 30-30 +15 % MAV Treadmill and 30-30 Track were observed. The present study demonstrates that a 15% increase in running velocity during a high-intensity intermittent treadmill training session is the optimal solution to reach the same physiological responses than an outdoor training session.


athletic track; consommation maximale d’oxygène; entraînement par intervalles; interval training; motorized treadmill; oxygen uptake; piste d’athlétisme; tapis roulant

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