Effects of marathon running on running economy and kinematics
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The present study was designed to investigate interactions between running economy and mechanics before, during, and after an individually run marathon. Seven experienced triathletes performed a 5-min submaximal running test on a treadmill at an individual constant marathon speed. Heart rate was monitored and the expired respiratory gas was analyzed. Blood samples were drawn to analyze serum creatine kinase activity (S-CK), skeletal troponin I (sTnI), and blood lactate (B-La). A video analysis was performed (200 frames · s−1) to investigate running mechanics. A kinematic arm was used to determine the external work of each subject. The results of the present study demonstrate that after the marathon, a standardized 5-min submaximal running test resulted in an increase in oxygen consumption, ventilation, and heart rate (P < 0.05), with a simultaneous decrease in the oxygen difference (%) between inspired and expired air, and respiratory exchange ratio (P < 0.05). B-La did not change during the marathon, while sTnI and S-CK values increased (P < 0.05), peaking 2 h and 2 days after the marathon, respectively. With regard to the running kinematics, a minor increase in stride frequency and a similar decrease in stride length were observed (P < 0.01). These results demonstrate clearly that weakened running economy cannot be explained by changes in running mechanics. Therefore, it is suggested that the increased physiological loading is due to several mechanisms: increased utilization of fat as an energy substrate, increased demands of body temperature regulation, and possible muscle damage.
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