Validity of Treadmill-Derived Critical Speed on Predicting 5000-Meter Track-Running Performance

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Abstract

Nimmerichter, A, Novak, N, Triska, C, Prinz, B, and Breese, BC. Validity of treadmill-derived critical speed on predicting 5,000-meter track-running performance. J Strength Cond Res 31(3): 706–714, 2017—To evaluate 3 models of critical speed (CS) for the prediction of 5,000-m running performance, 16 trained athletes completed an incremental test on a treadmill to determine maximal aerobic speed (MAS) and 3 randomly ordered runs to exhaustion at the [INCREMENT]70% intensity, at 110% and 98% of MAS. Critical speed and the distance covered above CS (D′) were calculated using the hyperbolic speed-time (HYP), the linear distance-time (LIN), and the linear speed inverse-time model (INV). Five thousand meter performance was determined on a 400-m running track. Individual predictions of 5,000-m running time (t = [5,000−D′]/CS) and speed (s = D’/t + CS) were calculated across the 3 models in addition to multiple regression analyses. Prediction accuracy was assessed with the standard error of estimate (SEE) from linear regression analysis and the mean difference expressed in units of measurement and coefficient of variation (%). Five thousand meter running performance (speed: 4.29 ± 0.39 m·s−1; time: 1,176 ± 117 seconds) was significantly better than the predictions from all 3 models (p < 0.0001). The mean difference was 65–105 seconds (5.7–9.4%) for time and −0.22 to −0.34 m·s−1 (−5.0 to −7.5%) for speed. Predictions from multiple regression analyses with CS and D′ as predictor variables were not significantly different from actual running performance (−1.0 to 1.1%). The SEE across all models and predictions was approximately 65 seconds or 0.20 m·s−1 and is therefore considered as moderate. The results of this study have shown the importance of aerobic and anaerobic energy system contribution to predict 5,000-m running performance. Using estimates of CS and D′ is valuable for predicting performance over race distances of 5,000 m.

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