Date of Award

5-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Edward T. Howley

Committee Members

David R. Bassett, Jr., Dixie L. Thompson, Eugene C. Fitzhugh

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to compare the "classic" physiological predictors of endurance performance (V̇O2max,%V̇O2max at LT, and RE) with a treadmill performance test (PTV) to see which best predicts performance in a simulated 16 km time trial. A secondary purpose was to identify physiological factors related to PTV. Methods: Seventeen healthy, well-trained distance runners (10 males, 7 females) underwent laboratory testing to determine maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), running economy (RE), percentage of maximal oxygen uptake at the lactate threshold (%V̇O2max at LT); running velocity at the lactate threshold (LT) and peak treadmill running velocity (PTV) for predicting performance in a 16 km time trial. Results: Regression analysis revealed that V̇O2max, PTV, and RE were highly correlated with the distance running performance and together explained 92.5% of the variation in run time. Stepwise analysis showed that 92% of the total variance in 16 km run time was accounted for by V̇O2max and RE. When the calculated variable velocity at V̇O2max (vV̇O2max) was added to the model the R2 increased to 0.954 and Stepwise analysis identified vV̇O2max as the best single predictor accounting for 94.4% of the total variance in 16 km run time. Conclusion: Among well-trained subjects heterogeneous in V̇O2max and running performance, velocity at V̇O2max is the best predictor of running performance because it integrates both maximal aerobic power and the economy of running, while %V̇O2max at LT contributes little to the prediction model.

Key Words: endurance performance, distance running, oxygen uptake, running economy, lactate threshold, peak treadmill velocity

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