Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 572 - 582

Research article
A Laboratory Test for the Examination of Alactic Running Performance
Armin Kibele1, , David Behm2
Author Information
1 University of Kassel, Germany
2 Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Armin Kibele
✉ Institute for Sports and Sport Science, University of Kassel, Damaschkestrasse 25, D-34121 Kassel, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 22-08-2005
Accepted: 08-11-2005
Published (online): 01-12-2005
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A new testing procedure is introduced to evaluate the alactic running performance in a 10s sprint task with near-maximal movement velocity. The test is performed on a motor-equipped treadmill with inverted polarity that increases mechanical resistance instead of driving the treadmill belt. As a result, a horizontal force has to be exerted against the treadmill surface in order to overcome the resistant force of the engine and to move the surface in a backward direction. For this task, subjects lean with their hands towards the front safety barrier of the treadmill railing with a slightly inclined body posture. The required skill resembles the pushing movement of bobsleigh pilots at the start of a race. Subjects are asked to overcome this mechanical resistance and to cover as much distance as possible within a time period of 10 seconds. Fifteen male students (age: 27.7 ± 4.1 years, body height: 1.82 ± 0.46 m, body mass: 78.3 ± 6.7 kg) participated in a study. As the resistance force was set to 134 N, subjects ran 35.4 ± 2.6 m on the average corresponding to a mean running velocity of 3.52 ± 0.25 m·s-1. The validity of the new test was examined by statistical inference with various measures related to alactic performance including a metabolic equivalent to estimate alactic capacity (2892 ± 525 mL O2), an estimate for the oxygen debt (2662 ± 315 ml), the step test by Margaria to estimate alactic energy flow (1691 ± 171 W), and a test to measure the maximal strength in the leg extensor muscles (2304 ± 351 N). The statistical evaluation showed that the new test is in good agreement with the theoretical assumptions for alactic performance. Significant correlation coefficients were found between the test criteria and the measures for alactic capacity (r = 0.79, p < 0.01) as well as alactic power (r = 0.77, p < 0.01). The testing procedure is easy to administer and it is best suited to evaluate the alactic capacity for bobsleigh pilots as well as for any other running discipline.

Key words: Alactic capacity, alactic power, metabolic cost, treadmill test, bobsleigh

           Key Points
  • New testing procedure for the evaluation of alactic running performance.
  • 10s treadmill sprint task with near-maximal movement velocity similar to a bob sleigh start.
  • Treadmill motor is used with inverted polarity to establish mechanical resistance rather than acceleration.
  • Highly significant correlations found between test criteria and alactic performance measures.
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