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  • Author: Eneko Larumbe-Zabala x
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The Effects of Sport-Specific Maximal Strength and Conditioning Training on Critical Velocity, Anaerobic Running Distance, and 5-km Race Performance

Bettina Karsten, Liesbeth Stevens, Mark Colpus, Eneko Larumbe-Zabala, and Fernando Naclerio

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of a sport-specific maximal 6-wk strength and conditioning program on critical velocity (CV), anaerobic running distance (ARD), and 5-km time-trial performance (TT).

Methods:

16 moderately trained recreational endurance runners were tested for CV, ARD, and TT performances on 3 separate occasions (baseline, midstudy, and poststudy).

Design:

Participants were randomly allocated into a strength and conditioning group (S&C; n = 8) and a comparison endurance-trainingonly group (EO; n = 8). During the first phase of the study (6 wk), the S&C group performed concurrent maximal strength and endurance training, while the EO group performed endurance-only training. After the retest of all variables (midstudy), both groups subsequently, during phase 2, performed another 6 wk of endurance-only training that was followed by poststudy tests.

Results:

No significant change for CV was identified in either group. The S&C group demonstrated a significant decrease for ARD values after phases 1 and 2 of the study. TT performances were significantly different in the S&C group after the intervention, with a performance improvement of 3.62%. This performance increase returned close to baseline after the 6-wk endurance-only training.

Conclusion:

Combining a 6-wk resistance-training program with endurance training significantly improves 5-km TT performance. Removing strength training results in some loss of those performance improvements.

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Running World Cross-Country Championships: A Unique Model for Pacing

Jonathan Esteve-Lanao, Eneko Larumbe-Zabala, Anouar Dabab, Alberto Alcocer-Gamboa, and Facundo Ahumada

The aim of this study was to describe the pacing distribution during 6 editions of the world cross-country championships.

Methods:

Data from the 768 male runners participating from 2007 to 2013 were considered for this study. Blocks of 10 participants according to final position (eg, 1st to 10th, 11 to 20th, etc) were considered.

Results:

Taking data from all editions together, the effect of years was found to be significant (F 5,266 = 3078.69, P < .001, ω2 = 0.31), as well as the effect of blocks of runners by final position (F 4,266 = 957.62, P < .001, ω2 = 0.08). A significant general decrease in speed by lap was also found (F 5,1330 = 2344.02, P < .001, ω2 = 0.29). Post hoc analyses were conducted for every edition where several pacing patterns were found. All correlations between the lap times and the total time were significant. However, each lap might show different predicting capacity over the individual outcome.

Discussion:

Top athletes seem to display different strategies, which allow them to sustain an optimal speed and/or kick as needed during the critical moments and succeed. After the first group (block) of runners, subsequent blocks always displayed a positive pacing pattern (fast to slow speed). Consequently, a much more stable pacing pattern should be considered to maximize final position.

Conclusions:

Top-10 finishers in the world cross-country championships tend to display a more even pace than the rest of the finishers, whose general behavior shows a positive (fast-to-slow) pattern.