Physiological, anthropometric, and training correlates of running economy

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PATE, R. R., C. A. MACERA, S. P. BAILEY, W. P. BARTOLI, and K. E. POWELL. Physiological, anthropometric, and training correlates of running economy. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 24, No. 10, pp. 1128–1133, 1992. Potential physiological, anthropometric, and training determinants of running economy (RE) were studied in a heterogeneous group of habitual distance runners (N = 188, 119 males, 69 females). RE was measured as O2 (ml·kg-1 ·min-1) during level treadmill running at 161 m·min-1 (6 mph) (O2-6). Examined as potential determinants of RE were heart rate and ventilation while running at 6 mph (HR6, E6), O2max (ml·kg-1·min-1). % fat, age, gender, height, weight, estimated leg mass, typical training pace, training volume, and sit-and-reach test performance. RE was entered as the dependent variable and the potential determinants as independent variables in zero-order correlation and multiple regression analyses. Zero-order correlation analysis found O2max, HR6, and E6 to be significantly, positively correlated with VO2-6 (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis, in which the independent effect of each predictor variable was examined, revealed O2-6 to be positively correlated with O:max (P < 0.001), HR6 (P < 0.001), E6 (P < 0.001), and age (P < 0.05) and negatively correlated with weight (P < 0.01). These findings indicate that, in a diverse group of runners, better RE (O2-6) is associated with lower O2max, lower submaximal exercise E and HR, lower age, and greater weight.

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