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Concurrent training in elite male runners: The influence of strength versus muscular endurance training on performance outcomes

Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association | 5 Jan 2013

S Sedano, PJ Marín, G Cuadrado and JC Redondo
Much recent attention has been given to the compatibility of combined aerobic and anaerobic training modalities. However few of these studies have reported data related to well-trained runners, which is a potential limitation. Therefore, due to the limited evidence available for this population, the main aim was to determine which mode of concurrent strength-endurance training might be the most effective at improving running performance in highly-trained runners. Eighteen well-trained male runners (age 23.7± 1.2 yr) with a maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) higher than 65 mL·kg·min were randomly assigned into one of the three groups: Endurance-only Group (EG; n=6), who continued their usual training, which included general strength training with Thera-band latex-free exercise bands and endurance training; Strength Group (SG; n=6) who performed combined resistance and plyometric exercises and endurance training; Endurance-Strength Group (ESG; n=6) who performed endurance-strength training with loads of 40% and endurance training.. The study comprised 12 weeks of training in which runners trained 8 times a week (6 endurance sessions and 2 strength sessions) and 5 weeks of detraining. The subjects were tested on three different occasions (counter movement jump height, hopping test average height, one-repetition-maximum, running economy, VO2max, maximal heart rate (HRmax), peak velocity, rating of perceived exertion and 3-km time trial were measured). Findings revealed significant time x group interaction effects for all almost tests (p <0.05). We can conclude that concurrent training (CT) for both SG and ESG groups led to improved maximal strength, running economy and peak velocity with no significant effects on the VO2 kinetics pattern. The SG group also seems to show improvements in 3-km time trial tests.
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Cooper test, Exercise physiology, VO2 max, Physical fitness, Exercise
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