This study assessed strength and muscular power of elite young male runners in order to determine the relationship of these characteristics to age and specialization in either sprint or middle distance events. Forty-eight national junior-level sprint and middle distance runners were evaluated for isokinetic peak torque for leg extension as well as muscular power and fatiguability. Peak torque values were greater for the older runners and for the sprinters when measured at higher velocities. However, when adjusted for body weight, the peak torque values of the sprinters became significantly greater at all testing velocities. Muscular power values were also greater for the older runners, but event-related differences only appeared for peak power and mean power measures (being greater in the sprinters).
W.G. Thorland is with the Dept. of Kinesiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0354. G.O. Johnson, T.J. Housh, and G.D. Tharp are with the Center for Youth Fitness and Sports Research, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0138. C.J. Cisar is with the Dept. of Human Performance, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192-0054.