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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Jul;28(7):860-9.

Six weeks of training does not change running mechanics or improve running economy.

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Department of Movement Science and Physical Education, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.


Running technique and economy (VO2submax) were examined before and after a 6-wk period of running training. Fifteen males were filmed and performed 10-min economy runs at 3.36 m.s-1 on a treadmill. An incremental treadmill test was used to record running performance and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). Subjects were randomly assigned to a training group and a control group that did not participate in any running program. There were no significant changes in kinematic variables between pre- and post-training tests for either group. Neither were there any significant physiological changes over the 6 wk in the control group. However, the training group demonstrated a significantly (P < 0.01) increased VO2max (57.7 +/- 6.2 vs 61.3 +/- 6.3 and running performance. VO2submax in the training group was significantly (P < 0.05) worse (41.0 +/- 4.5 vs 42.4 +/- 4.3 post-training, although the percent utilization of VO2max (71.6 +/- 7.9 vs 69.3 +/- 6.9%) and submaximal heart rate (169 +/- 15 vs 161 +/- 15 beats.min-1) were significantly lower (P < 0.05). The training-induced improvements in running performance could be attributed to physiological rather than biomechanical modifications. There were no changes in biomechanical descriptors of running style that signaled changes in running economy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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