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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Mar;50(3):580-588. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001467.

Short Trail Running Race: Beyond the Classic Model for Endurance Running Performance.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed to examine the extent to which the classical physiological variables of endurance running performance (maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max), %V˙O2max at ventilatory threshold (VT), and running economy (RE)) but also muscle strength factors contribute to short trail running (TR) performance.

METHODS:

A homogeneous group of nine highly trained trail runners performed an official TR race (27 km) and laboratory-based sessions to determine V˙O2max, %V˙O2max at VT, level RE (RE0%) and RE on a +10% slope, maximal voluntary concentric and eccentric knee extension torques, local endurance assessed by a fatigue index (FI), and a time to exhaustion at 87.5% of the velocity associated with V˙O2max. A simple regression method and commonality analysis identifying unique and common coefficients of each independent variable were used to determine the best predictors for the TR race time (dependent variable).

RESULTS:

Pearson correlations showed that FI and V˙O2max had the highest correlations (r = 0.91 and r = -0.76, respectively) with TR performance. The other selected variables were not significantly correlated with TR performance. The analysis of unique and common coefficients of relative V˙O2max, %V˙O2max at VT, and RE0% provides a low prediction of TR performance (R = 0.48). However, adding FI and RE on a +10% slope (instead of RE0%) markedly improved the predictive power of the model (R = 0.98). FI and V˙O2max showed the highest unique (49.8% and 20.4% of total effect, respectively) and common (26.9% of total effect) contributions to the regression equation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The classic endurance running model does not allow for meaningful prediction of short TR performance. Incorporating more specific factors into TR such as local endurance and gradient-specific RE testing procedures should be considered to better characterize short TR performance.

PMID:
29077639
DOI:
10.1249/MSS.0000000000001467
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