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Relationship Between Body Segment Mass and Running Performance in Well-Trained Endurance Runners

Hiromasa Ueno, Tadashi Suga, Kenji Takao, Masafumi Terada, Akinori Nagano, and Tadao Isaka

This study examined the relationship between body segment mass and running performance in endurance runners. The total (muscle, fat, and bone masses), lean (muscle mass), and fat masses of the leg, arm, and trunk segments in 37 well-trained endurance runners were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer. The relative segment mass was calculated by normalizing the absolute mass to body mass. There were no significant correlations between absolute total, lean, and fat masses of all 3 segments and personal best 5000-m race time. No significant correlations were also observed between all 3 relative masses of the arm segment and personal best 5000-m race time. In contrast, medium positive correlations were observed between the relative total and lean masses of the leg segment and personal best 5000-m race time (r = .387 and .335, respectively, both P ≤ .031). Furthermore, large negative correlations were observed between the relative total and lean masses of the trunk segment and personal best 5000-m race time (r = −.500 and −.548, respectively, both P ≤ .002). These findings suggest that a mass distribution with smaller leg mass and greater trunk mass may be advantageous for achieving better running performance in endurance runners.

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Achilles Tendon Length Is Not Related to 100-m Sprint Time in Sprinters

Daichi Tomita, Tadashi Suga, Hiromasa Ueno, Yuto Miyake, Takahiro Tanaka, Masafumi Terada, Mitsuo Otsuka, Akinori Nagano, and Tadao Isaka

This study examined the relationship between Achilles tendon (AT) length and 100-m sprint time in sprinters. The AT lengths at 3 different portions of the triceps surae muscle in 48 well-trained sprinters were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. The 3 AT lengths were calculated as the distance from the calcaneal tuberosity to the muscle–tendon junction of the soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, and gastrocnemius lateralis, respectively. The absolute 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = −.023 to .064, all Ps > .05). Furthermore, to minimize the differences in the leg length among participants, the 3 AT lengths were normalized to the shank length, and the relative 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .023 to .102, all Ps > .05). Additionally, no significant correlations were observed between the absolute and relative (normalized to body mass) cross-sectional areas of the AT and personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .012 and .084, respectively, both Ps > .05). These findings suggest that the AT morphological variables, including the length, may not be related to superior 100-m sprint time in sprinters.