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Costas Chryssanthopoulos, Clyde Williams, Wendy Wilson, Lucy Asher and Lynda Hearne

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution, ingested during exercise, with the effects of a preexercise carbohydrate meal on endurance running performance. Ten endurance-trained males completed two 30-km treadmill runs. In one trial subjects consumed a placebo solution 4 hr before exercise and a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution immediately before exercise and every 5 km (C). In the other trial, subjects consumed a 4-hr preexercise high-carbohydrate meal and water immediately before exercise and every 5 km (M). Performance times were identical for M and C, and there was no difference in the self-selected speeds. Oxygen uptake, heart rates, perceived rate of exertion, and respiratory exchange ratios were also similar. However, blood glucose concentration was higher in C during the first 20 km of the 30-km run. In M, blood glucose concentration was maintained above 4.5 mmol · L1 throughout exercise. Thus, the two conditions produced the same 30-km treadmill running performance time.

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Felipe Alvim, Lucenildo Cerqueira, Aluízio D’Affonsêca Netto, Guilherme Leite and Adriane Muniz

This study involved a comparison of 5 kinematic-based algorithms to detect heel strike (HS) and toe-off (TO) events during human locomotion at different speeds. The objective was to assess how different running and walking speeds affect contact event determination during treadmill locomotion. Thirty male runners performed walking at 5 km/h and running at 9, 11, and 13 km/h on a treadmill. A kinematic system was used to capture the trajectories of 2 retro-reflective markers placed at the subject’s right heel and second metatarsal. A footswitch device was used to determine the “true” times of HS and TO compared with 5 kinematic-based algorithms. The results of the current study illustrated that speed influences the HS error in the vertical position and horizontal velocity algorithms, and the TO error in the vertical position and horizontal velocity algorithms. This difference was found in the transition from walking to running; however, higher running speeds did not affect the error estimation. Higher accuracy was found with combined algorithms, namely, one using vertical acceleration and position and another using horizontal and vertical position with no influence from different locomotion speeds. Therefore, these algorithms are recommended in studies where speed is self-selected because they work well for a broad range of locomotion velocities.

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Fleur E. Horner, Joanna Slade and James L. J. Bilzon

Background:

Accelerometers are commonly used to quantify physical activity. There is no accordance regarding the most suitable attachment site. This study assessed the reliability and validity of accelerometer output (PAC) from 2 placements.

Methods:

26 females (age 20.4 ± 1.3 years, body mass 62.7 ± 6.8 kg) twice performed a 16-minute treadmill protocol comprising 4 stages (4, 5, 8, 10 km·hr−1) and oxygen uptake (VO2) was calculated. Participants wore an accelerometer at the hip and lower back. Skinfold thickness was measured at 8 sites. Reliability was assessed using coefficients of variation (CVintra). Interactions between placement, velocity and PAC (counts·5s−1) were assessed using analysis of covariance. PAC-VO2 associations were assessed using multiple regression.

Results:

Hip and back placements returned similar reliability (CVintra = 3.0% and 2.8% respectively). Hip PAC were higher (P < .01) during walking with no differences observed during running. Indices of adiposity were related to hip PAC. Regression revealed hip and back PAC as significant predictors of VO2. Back PAC was the least variable. Hip skinfold thickness explained 15% additional variance in VO2 to PAC with reduced standard error.

Conclusion:

The lower back is a more suitable accelerometer placement for young, active females during treadmill exercise.

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Vassilis Tsiaras, Andreas Zafeiridis, Konstantina Dipla, Kostas Patras, Anastasios Georgoulis and Spiros Kellis

The aims were to develop and validate a VO2peak prediction equation from a treadmill running test in active male adolescents. Eighty-eight athletes (12–18 yrs.) performed a maximal exercise test on a treadmill to assess the actual VO2peak and a 20m Shuttle-Run-Test (20mST). A step-wise linear regression analysis was used and the following equation for estimation of VO2peak (mL·kg−1·min−1) = 35.477 + 1.832 × duration in min - 0.010 × duration × body mass in kg was developed. The cross-validation statistics were: R = .54, CE = 0.1 mL·kg−1·min−1, SEE = 2.5 mL·kg−1·min−1 (4.6%), and TE = 2.6 mL·kg−1·min−1 (4.9%). The cross-validation values (CE, SEE, and TE) were lower compared with those of previously published equations in adolescents that estimated VO2peak using anthropometric data, performance in 20mST, and energy cost at submaximal speeds.

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David V.B. James, Leigh E. Sandals, Stephen B. Draper, Sara Maldonado-Martín and Dan M. Wood

Purpose:

Previously it has been observed that, in well-trained 800-m athletes, VO2max is not attained during middle-distance running events on a treadmill, even when a race-type pacing strategy is adopted. Therefore, the authors investigated whether specialization in a particular running distance (400-m or 800-m) influences the VO2 attained during running on a treadmill.

Methods:

Six 400-m and six 800-m running specialists participated in the study. A 400-m trial and a progressive test to determine VO2max were completed in a counterbalanced order. Oxygen uptakes attained during the 400-m trial were compared to examine the influence of specialist event.

Results:

A VO2 plateau was observed in all participants for the progressive test, demonstrating the attainment of VO2max. The VO2max values were 56.2 ± 4.7 and 69.3 ± 4.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1 for the 400-m- and 800-m-event specialists, respectively (P = .0003). Durations for the 400-m trial were 55.1 ± 4.2 s and 55.8 ± 2.3 s for the 400-m- and 800-m-event specialists, respectively. The VO2 responses achieved were 93.1% ± 2.0% and 85.7% ± 3.0% VO2max for the 400-m- and 800-m-event specialists, respectively (P = .001).

Conclusions:

These results demonstrate that specialist running events do appear to influence the percentage of VO2max achieved in the 400-m trial, with the 800-m specialists attaining a lower percentage of VO2max than the 400-m specialists. The 400-m specialists appear to compensate for a lower VO2max by attaining a higher percentage VO2max during a 400-m trial.

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Shelby L. Francis, Ajay Singhvi, Eva Tsalikian, Michael J. Tansey and Kathleen F. Janz

Purpose:

Determining fitness is important when assessing adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Submaximal tests estimate fitness, but none have been validated in this population. This study cross-validates the Ebbeling and Nemeth equations to predict fitness (VO2max (ml/kg/min)) in adolescents with T1DM.

Methods:

Adolescents with T1DM (n = 20) completed a maximal treadmill test using indirect calorimetry. Participants completed one 4-min stage between 2.0 and 4.5 mph and 5% grade (Ebbeling/Nemeth protocol). Speed and grade were then increased until exhaustion. Predicted VO2max was calculated using the Ebbeling and Nemeth equations and compared with observed VO2max using paired t tests. Pearson correlation coefficients, 95% confidence intervals, coefficients of determination (R2), and total error (TE) were calculated.

Results:

The mean observed VO2max was 47.0 ml/kg/min (SD = 6.9); the Ebbeling and Nemeth mean predictions were 42.4 (SD = 9.4) and 43.5 ml/kg/min (SD = 6.9), respectively. Paired t tests resulted in statistically significant (p < .01) mean differences between observed and predicted VO2max for both predictions. The association between the Ebbeling prediction and observed VO2max was r = .90 (95% CI = 0.76, 0.96), R 2 = .81, and TE = 6.5 ml/kg/min. The association between the Nemeth prediction and observed VO2max was r = .81 (95% CI = 0.57, 0.92), R 2 = .66, and TE = 5.6 ml/kg/min.

Conclusion:

The Nemeth submaximal treadmill protocol provides a better estimate of fitness than the Ebbeling in adolescents with T1DM.

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Bente R. Jensen, Line Hovgaard-Hansen and Katrine L. Cappelen

Running on a lower-body positive-pressure (LBPP) treadmill allows effects of weight support on leg muscle activation to be assessed systematically, and has the potential to facilitate rehabilitation and prevent overloading. The aim was to study the effect of running with weight support on leg muscle activation and to estimate relative knee and ankle joint forces. Runners performed 6-min running sessions at 2.22 m/s and 3.33 m/s, at 100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, and 20% body weight (BW). Surface electromyography, ground reaction force, and running characteristics were measured. Relative knee and ankle joint forces were estimated. Leg muscles responded differently to unweighting during running, reflecting different relative contribution to propulsion and antigravity forces. At 20% BW, knee extensor EMGpeak decreased to 22% at 2.22 m/s and 28% at 3.33 m/s of 100% BW values. Plantar flexors decreased to 52% and 58% at 20% BW, while activity of biceps femoris muscle remained unchanged. Unweighting with LBPP reduced estimated joint force significantly although less than proportional to the degree of weight support (ankle).It was concluded that leg muscle activation adapted to the new biomechanical environment, and the effect of unweighting on estimated knee force was more pronounced than on ankle force.

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Ricky Watari, Blayne Hettinga, Sean Osis and Reed Ferber

The purpose of this study was to validate measures of vertical oscillation (VO) and ground contact time (GCT) derived from a commercially-available, torso-mounted accelerometer compared with single marker kinematics and kinetic ground reaction force (GRF) data. Twenty-two semi-elite runners ran on an instrumented treadmill while GRF data (1000 Hz) and three-dimensional kinematics (200 Hz) were collected for 60 s across 5 different running speeds ranging from 2.7 to 3.9 m/s. Measurement agreement was assessed by Bland-Altman plots with 95% limits of agreement and by concordance correlation coefficient (CCC). The accelerometer had excellent CCC agreement (> 0.97) with marker kinematics, but only moderate agreement, and overestimated measures between 16.27 mm to 17.56 mm compared with GRF VO measures. The GCT measures from the accelerometer had very good CCC agreement with GRF data, with less than 6 ms of mean bias at higher speeds. These results indicate a torsomounted accelerometer provides valid and accurate measures of torso-segment VO, but both a marker placed on the torso and the accelerometer yield systematic overestimations of center of mass VO. Measures of GCT from the accelerometer are valid when compared with GRF data, particularly at faster running speeds.

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Kaixuan Shi, Xiaoli Liu, Decai Qiao and Lijuan Hou

Exercise improves motor deficits in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients but the underlying neuronal mechanism is poorly understood. Since the striatum is critical to motor function, we have investigated the potential effects of exercise on the spiking activity of the striatal neurons in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease. Twenty-four hours after injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the right medial forebrain bundle, rats in exercise groups were trained to exercise on a treadmill. Twenty-eight days after 6-OHDA lesion, apomorphine induced fewer rotations in the PD rats with exercise than in PD + Ex rats. Anatomical examination indicates that compared with the PD rats, PD + Ex rats had an attenuated loss of dopamine axonal fibers in the striatum and dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars. Equally important, the abnormal burst firing and firing rates in striatal neurons were lower in the PD + Ex rats than in the PD rats. Taken together, our results suggest that exercise has neuroprotective effects that can reduce the degeneration of the nigrostriatal dopamine system and minimize the abnormal neuronal spike firing in parkinsonian striatum, potentially contributing to exercise’s motor-improving effects in PD.

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Tatsuhisa Takahashi, Akiyoshi Okada, Jun-ichiro Hayano and Nobuo Takeshima

To determine water immersion’s effect on heart rate (HR) and vagal tone, the authors examined HR and high-frequency R-R-interval variability in 7 healthy older adults at rest and during treadmill walking, starting at 3.0 km/hr and increasing 0.5 km/hr every 3 min at a 5% grade to exhaustion. Participants performed the test on land and then immersed in water to the xiphoid. HR at rest did not differ between water and land. During walking at 3.0 km/min, HR was significantly lower in water than on land, whereas at 4.5 and 5.0 km/min it was significantly higher (each p < .05). Peak HR at exhaustion was not significantly different between water and land. High-frequency amplitudes at rest and during exercise in water were not significantly different from those on land. The results suggest that resting vagus tone and vagal changes in response to walking exercise in elderly adults are not greatly affected by water immersion.