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Aerobic and anaerobic contribution to Wingate test performance in sprint and middle-distance runners

Abstract

We investigated the aerobic and anaerobic contributions to performance during the Wingate test in sprint and middle-distance runners and whether they were related to the peak aerobic and anaerobic performances determined by two commonly used tests: the force-velocity test and an incremental aerobic exercise test. A group of 14 male competitive runners participated: 7 sprinters, aged 20.7 (SEM 1.3) years, competing in 50, 100 and 200-m events and 7 middle-distance runners, aged 20.0 (SEM 1.0) years, competing in 800, 1,000 and 1,500 m-events. The oxygen uptake (\(\dot V{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} \)) was recorded breath-by-breath during the test (30 s) and during the first 20 s of recovery. Blood samples for venous plasma lactate concentrations were drawn at rest before the start of the test and during the 20-min recovery period. During the Wingate test mean power (\(\dot W\)) was determined and three values of mechanical efficiency, one individual and two arbitrary, 16% and 25%, were used to calculate the contributions of work by aerobic (\(\dot W\) aer,ind,16%,25%) and anaerobic (\(\dot W\) an,ind,16%,25%) processes. Peak anaerobic power (\(\dot W\) an,peak) was estimated by the force-velocity test and maximal aerobic energy expenditure (\(\dot W\) aer,peak) was determined during an incremental aerobic exercise test. During the Wingate test, the middle-distance runners had a significantly greater\(\dot V{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} \) than the sprinters (P < 0.001), who had significantly greater venous plasma lactate concentrations (P < 0.001). Moreover,\(\dot W\) aer,ind,16%,25% were also significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the middle-distance runners [\(\dot W\) aer,ind 45 (SEM 4) % vs 28 (SEM 2) %;\(\dot W\) aer,16% 30 (SEM 3) % vs 19 (SEM 2) %;\(\dot W\) aer,25% 46 (SEM 3) % vs 29 (SEM 2)%];\(\dot W\) an,ind,16%,25% in the sprint runners (P < 0.05) [\(\dot W\) an,ind 72 (SEM 3) % vs 55 (SEM 4) %;\(\dot W\) an,16% 81 (SEM 2) % vs 70 (SEM 3) %;\(\dot W\) an,25% 71 (SEM 2) % vs 54 (SEM 3) %]. The\(\dot W\) aer,ind/\(\dot W\) aer,peak and\(\dot W\) ×\(\dot W\) an,ind/\(\dot W\) an,peak ratios, however, were not significantly different between the two groups of athletes. These results would indicate that the sprinters and middle-distance runners used preferentially a metabolic system according to their speciality. Nevertheless, under the conditions of its experiment, they seemed to rely on the same percentage of both peak anaerobic and peak aerobic performance for a given exercise task.

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Correspondence to P. Granier.

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Granier, P., Mercier, B., Mercier, J. et al. Aerobic and anaerobic contribution to Wingate test performance in sprint and middle-distance runners. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 70, 58–65 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00601809

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Key words

  • Oxygen uptake
  • Lactate
  • Wingate test
  • Runners