Changes in Running Economy, Respiratory Exchange Ratio and VO2max in Runners following a 10-day Altitude Training Camp


Running economy (RE) and VO2max are important predictors of endurance performance for elite and semi-elite endurance athletes, with RE being an appropriate predictor in a homogenous running population. Altitude training has been observed to change RE (−1.min−1), and VO2max due to alterations resulting from acclimatization. This study tracked changes in RE and VO2max before and after a 10-day altitude training camp at 1828 meters. VO2max, RE expressed calorically, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER), were measured below anaerobic threshold (AT) to observe differences between pre-and post-altitude training. Eight varsity cross-country runners between the ages of 18 and 22 years performed an incremental treadmill test, pre- and post-10-day altitude training. Paired samples t-tests were used to statistically analyze the data. Average RE (VO2−1.min−1) improved following altitude intervention (M= 56.44 ± 4.28) compared to pre-altitude training (61.30 ± 7.56). These differences were statistically significant t(7)= 2.71, p =.014. RE expressed as−−1 improved following altitude training (16.73 ± 2.96) compared to (18.44 ± 4.04) pre-altitude training and was statistically significant t(7) =3.08, p = .008. RER taken during the last minute of steady-state was higher (0.97, ± .019) post-altitude training, compared to (0.90 ± .043) pre-altitude. These differences were statistically significant t(7) −3.62, p =.008. VO2max (−1.min−1) was lower in 6 out of 8 participants (63.91, ± 8.65) post-altitude compared to (69.90, ± 10.80) pre-altitude and was statistically significant t(7) = 2.33, p =.026. The observed improvements in RE may be beneficial for endurance athletes competing and/or training at moderate altitudes near 1828 meters.

Keywords: Altitude, aerobic athletes, varsity athlete, cross country running, athletics

Autor / Fonte:Sebastian R Diebel, Ian Newhouse, David S Thompson, Vineet B K Johnson International Journal of Exercise Science 2017, 10 (4): 629-639