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Cory W. Baumann, Jeffrey C. Rupp, Christopher P. Ingalls and J. Andrew Doyle


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between anaerobic characteristics and 5-km-race performance in trained female cross-country runners (N = 13).


The runners performed 50-m sprints and a 5-km time trial on an outdoor 400-m track and maximal anaerobic (MART) and aerobic running tests on a motorized treadmill. Anaerobic characteristics were determined by the mean velocity of the 50-m sprint (v 50m) and the peak velocity in the MART (v MART). The aerobic characteristics were obtained during the aerobic treadmill test and included maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), running economy, and ventilatory threshold (VT).


Both the v MART (r = .69, P < .01) and VO2max (r = .80, P < .01) correlated with the mean velocity of the 5-km (v 5km). A multiple-linear-regression analysis revealed that the combination of VO2max, v MART, and VT explained 81% (R 2 = .81, P < .001) of the variation seen in the v 5km. The v MART accounted for 31% of the total shared variance, while the combination of VO2max and VT explained the remaining 50%.


These results suggest that among trained female runners who are relatively matched, anaerobic energy production can effectively discriminate the v 5km and explain a significant amount of the variation seen in 5-km-race performance.

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Martin Mooses and Anthony C. Hackney

Maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), fractional utilization of V̇O2max during running, and running economy (RE) are crucial factors for running success for all endurance athletes. Although evidence is limited, investigations of these key factors indicate that East Africans’ superiority in distance running is largely due to a unique combination of these factors. East African runners appear to have a very high level of RE most likely associated, at least partly, with anthropometric characteristics rather than with any specific metabolic property of the working muscle. That is, evidence suggest that anthropometrics and body composition might have important parameters as determinants of superior performance of East African distance runners. Regrettably, this role is often overlooked and mentioned as a descriptive parameter rather than an explanatory parameter in many research studies. This brief review article provides an overview of the evidence to support the critical role anthropometrics and body composition has on the distance running success of East African athletes. The structural form and shape of these athletes also has a downside, because having very low BMI or body fat increases the risk for relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) conditions in both male and female runners, which can have serious health consequences.

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Randall L. Wilber and Yannis P. Pitsiladis

Since the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Kenyan and Ethiopian runners have dominated the middle- and longdistance events in athletics and have exhibited comparable dominance in international cross-country and roadracing competition. Several factors have been proposed to explain the extraordinary success of the Kenyan and Ethiopian distance runners, including (1) genetic predisposition, (2) development of a high maximal oxygen uptake as a result of extensive walking and running at an early age, (3) relatively high hemoglobin and hematocrit, (4) development of good metabolic “economy/efficiency” based on somatotype and lower limb characteristics, (5) favorable skeletal-muscle-fiber composition and oxidative enzyme profile, (6) traditional Kenyan/Ethiopian diet, (7) living and training at altitude, and (8) motivation to achieve economic success. Some of these factors have been examined objectively in the laboratory and field, whereas others have been evaluated from an observational perspective. The purpose of this article is to present the current data relative to factors that potentially contribute to the unprecedented success of Kenyan and Ethiopian distance runners, including recent studies that examined potential links between Kenyan and Ethiopian genotype characteristics and elite running performance. In general, it appears that Kenyan and Ethiopian distance-running success is not based on a unique genetic or physiological characteristic. Rather, it appears to be the result of favorable somatotypical characteristics lending to exceptional biomechanical and metabolic economy/efficiency; chronic exposure to altitude in combination with moderate-volume, high-intensity training (live high + train high), and a strong psychological motivation to succeed athletically for the purpose of economic and social advancement.

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Alison Keogh, Barry Smyth, Brian Caulfield, Aonghus Lawlor, Jakim Berndsen and Cailbhe Doherty

running success [Internet] . The Guardian . 2018 . . Accessed November 20, 2018. 41. Emerick P , Teed K , Rusk G , Fernhall B . Predictors of marathon performance in female

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Tyler J. Noble and Robert F. Chapman

RA , Moran C , Wilson RH , Goodwin WH , Pitsiladis YP . Genetic influence on East African running success . Equine Comp Exerc Physiol . 2004 ; 1 : 273 – 280 . doi:10.1079/ECP200434 10.1079/ECP200434 14. Scott RA , Pitsiladis YP . Genotypes and distance running . Sports Med

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Jim Denison

what I was about to tell them. Without question, one of the biggest challenges to middle-distance running success is overcoming the pain of racing. It’s what a runner needs to be able to do to not slow down. It’s a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) more important than being able to repeat a particular

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Louise M. Burke, Graeme L. Close, Bronwen Lundy, Martin Mooses, James P. Morton and Adam S. Tenforde

intentional/deliberate this is, majority of the athletes report their ideal body weight for racing to be lower than that during preparation period (Mooses, unpublished data). Finally, food insecurity is likely to play a role in contributing to LEA. The pursuit of running success is often undertaken with the