Running performance and physiological characteristics of male and female subjects

2014-02-13T11:36:36Z (GMT) by Roger Ramsbottom
The purpose of the studies reported in this thesis was to examine (a) the relationships between running performance and selected physiological characteristics of active male and female subjects and (b) the relationships between training induced improvements in running performance and changes in the physiological characteristics of these subjects. Running performance was described as a time trial over a 5km distance for each subject and in addition measurements of their performance were made during submaximal and maximal treadmill running. The first study examined the physiological responses of a large number of male and female subjects (n=94) to a 5km run. Strong correlations were found between maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and running performance, expressed as mean running velocity (V5km), for both the male (r=O.88) and female (r=0.82) subjects. A similar correlation (r=0.88) was found between the estimated oxygen consumption at 5km pace and V5km for the male and female subjects. The second study measured the physiological and metabolic responses of active males and females during a 5km treadmill time trial. Both male and female subjects were able to tolerate maximal heart rates, and 90% VO2 max throughout the run. The oxygen consumption measured during the treadmill run showed the highest correlation with running performance, r=0.74 and r=0.77, for the male and female subjects respectively. The third study examined 5km performance before and after five weeks of endurance training in a group of active, but mostly untrained, male subjects. Running performance improved 2.5% VO2 max increased 8% and the estimated oxygen consumption during 5km running increased 6%. The strongest correlation (r=0.69) associated with improved 5km performance was an increase in the oxygen consumption during submaximal treadmill running. The final study reported in this thesis examined the physiological, metabolic and running performance characteristics before and after a ten week period of an increased volume of endurance training in active male and female subjects. There was a good correlation (r=0.64) between an increase in running speed equivalent to a blood lactate concentration of 4mM and running performance but a poor correlation (r=-0.13) with muscle fibre composition.