Influence of running pace upon performance: Effects upon treadmill endurance time and oxygen cost


Three possible patterns of pacing (type 1, fast/slow; type 2, slow/fast; and type 3, steady rate) were compared over a 1400 m, 4 min run. The subsequent running time to exhaustion at 370 m·min−1 was significantly longer with a type 1 than with a type 2 protocol (P<0.05). The steady rate pattern gave results intermediate between type 1 and type 2 pacing. Data for oxygen debt and recovery heart rate confirmed the superiority of type 1 pacing. Possible explanations included (1) a reduction of inefficient anaerobic work, and (2) a greater mechanical efficiency associated with the better matching of required effort to a tapering physiological power. Runners should aim at a steady physiological rather than a steady physical load.

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Correspondence to Prof. R. J. Shephard.

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Ariyoshi, M., Yamaji, K. & Shephard, R.J. Influence of running pace upon performance: Effects upon treadmill endurance time and oxygen cost. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 41, 83–91 (1979).

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Key words

  • Running pace
  • Physiological load
  • Speed
  • Anaerobic work
  • Physical performance
  • Oxygen debt
  • Lactate