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
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 62 - 68

Research article
A Self-Paced Intermittent Protocol on a Non-Motorised Treadmill: A Reliable Alternative to Assessing Team-Sport Running Performance
Paul J. Tofari1, , Blake D. McLean1,2, Justin Kemp1, Stuart Cormack1
Author Information
1 School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia
2 Sport Science Department, Collingwood Football Club, Melbourne, Australia

Paul J. Tofari
✉ Australian Catholic University, Locked Bag 4115, Fitzroy, MDC, Victoria, Australia, 3165
Publish Date
Received: 01-09-2014
Accepted: 14-10-2014
Published (online): 01-03-2015
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This study assessed the reliability of a ‘self-paced’ 30-min, team-sport running protocol on a Woodway Curve 3.0 non-motorised treadmill (NMT). Ten male team-sport athletes (20.3 ± 1.2 y, 74.4 ± 9.7 kg, VO2peak 57.1 ± 4.5 ml·kg-1·min-1) attended five sessions (VO2peak testing + familiarisation; four reliability trials). The 30-min protocol consisted of three identical 10-min activity blocks, with visual and audible commands directing locomotor activity; however, actual speeds were self-selected by participants. Reliability of variables was estimated using typical error ± 90% confidence limits expressed as a percentage [coefficient of variation (CV)] and intraclass correlation coefficient. The smallest worthwhile change (SWC) was calculated as 0.2 × between participant standard deviation. Peak/mean speed and distance variables assessed across the 30-min protocol exhibited a CV < 5%, and < 6% for each 10-min activity block. All power variables exhibited a CV < 7.5%, except walking (CV 8.3-10.1%). The most reliable variables were maximum and mean sprint speed (CV < 2%). All variables produced a CV% greater than the SWC. A self-paced, team-sport running protocol performed on a NMT produces reliable speed/distance and power data. Importantly, a single familiarisation session allowed for adequate test-retest reliability. The self-paced design provides an ecologically-valid alternative to externally-paced team-sport running simulations.

Key words: Exercise test, athletic performance, running, reproducibility of results

           Key Points
  • Self-paced team-sport running protocols on a curved NMT that closely match the locomotor demands of competition deliver reliable test-retest measures of speed, distance and power.
  • Such protocols may be sensitive to changes in running profile following an intervention that may not be detectable during externally-paced protocols.
  • One familiarisation session is adequate to ensure test-retest reliability.
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