Anaerobic Work Capacity’s Contribution to 5-km-Race Performance in Female Runners

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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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 (v50m) and the peak velocity in the MART (vMART). The aerobic characteristics were obtained during the aerobic treadmill test and included maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), running economy, and ventilatory threshold (VT).


Both the vMART (r = .69, P < .01) and VO2max (r = .80, P < .01) correlated with the mean velocity of the 5-km (v5km). A multiple-linear-regression analysis revealed that the combination of VO2max, vMART, and VT explained 81% (R2 = .81, P < .001) of the variation seen in the v5km. The vMART 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 v5km and explain a significant amount of the variation seen in 5-km-race performance.

The authors are with the Dept of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.