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 (2006) 05, 692 - 698

Case report
Indirect Calorimetry During Ultradistance Running: A Case Report
Charles L. Dumke , Lesli Shooter, Robert H. Lind, David C. Nieman
Author Information
From the Human Performance and Fisher Hamilton/Nycom Laboratory, Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.; USA.

Charles L. Dumke
✉ Appalachian State University, Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Holmes Convocation Center, 111 Rivers Street, ASU Box 32071, Boone, NC 28608, USA
Publish Date
Received: 07-07-2006
Accepted: 29-08-2006
Published (online): 15-12-2006
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The purpose was to determine the energy expenditure during ultradistance trail running. A portable metabolic unit was carried by a male subject for the first 64.5 km portion of the Western States 100 running race. Calibrations were done with known gases and volumes at ambient temperature, humidity and pressure (23-40.5 °C and 16-40% respectively). Altitude averaged 1692.8 ± 210 m during data collection. The male subject (36 yrs, 75 kg, VO2max of 67.0 ml·kg-1·min-1) had an average (mean ± SD) heart rate of 132 ± 9 bpm, oxygen consumption of 34.0 ± 6.8 ml·kg-1·min-1, RER of 0.91 ± 0.04, and VE of 86.0 ± 14.3 L·min-1 during the 21.7 km measuring period. This represented an average of 51% VO2max and 75% heart rate maximum. Energy expenditure was 12.6 ± 2.5 kcals·min-1, or 82.7 ± 16.6 kcals·km-1 (134 ± 27 kcals·mile-1) at 68.3 ± 12.5% carbohydrate. Extrapolation of this data would result in an energy expenditure of >13,000 kcals for the 160 km race, and an exogenous carbohydrate requirement of >250 kcal·hr-1. The energy cost of running for this subject on separate, noncompetitive occasions ranged from 64.9 ± 8.5 to 74.4 ± 5.5 kcals·km-1 (105 ± 14 to 120 ± 9 kcals·mile-1). Ultradistance trail running increases energy expenditure above that of running on nonundulating terrain, which may result in underestimating energy requirements during these events and subsequent undernourishment and suboptimal performance.

Key words: Energy expenditure, caloric expenditure, running economy

           Key Points
  • The energy cost of running is elevated during ultradistance trail races compared to normal running conditions.
  • This elevated energy cost results in a ~12% increase in energy expenditure for a given distance.
  • Ad libitum energy intake may grossly underestimate the demand of ultradistance running in the conditions investigated in this paper, thus jeopardizing race performance.
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