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Effects of resistance training on neuromuscular characteristics and pacing during 10-km running time trial



The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of an 8-week strength training program on the neuromuscular characteristics and pacing adopted by runners during a self-paced endurance running.


Eighteen endurance runners were allocated into either strength training group (STG, n = 9) or control group (CG, n = 9) and performed the following tests before and after the training period: (a) incremental test, (b) running speed-constant test, (c) 10-km running time trial, (d) drop jump test, (e) 30-s Wingate anaerobic test, (f) maximum dynamic strength test (1RM). During 1RM, the electromyographic activity was measured.


In the STG, the magnitude of improvement for 1RM (23.0 ± 4.2 %, P = 0.001), drop jump (12.7 ± 4.6 %, P = 0.039), and peak treadmill speed (2.9 ± 0.8 %, P = 0.013) was significantly higher compared to CG. This increase in the 1RM for STG was accompanied by a tendency to a higher electromyographic activity (P = 0.080). The magnitude of improvement for 10-km running performance was higher (2.5 %) for STG than for CG (−0.7 %, P = 0.039). Performance was improved mainly due to higher speeds during the last seven laps (last 2800 m) of the 10-km running trial. There were no significant differences between before and after training period for maximal oxygen uptake, respiratory compensation point, running economy, and anaerobic performance for both groups (P > 0.05).


These findings suggest that a strength training program offers a potent stimulus to counteract fatigue during the last parts of a 10-km running race, resulting in an improved overall running performance.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 3



Maximum dynamic strength


Control group


Contact time


Electromyographic activity


Drop jump height


Mean power


Peak power


Peak treadmill speed


Respiratory compensation point


Running economy


Rate of perceived exertion


Reactive strength index


Strength training group


Strength training

\( {\dot{\text{V}}} \)O2max:

Maximal oxygen uptake


Vastus medialis


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The authors thank each of the individuals for their participation. The study was supported by grant from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2011/10742-9). Mayara Vieira Damasceno is supported by a master scholarship from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2013/00371-9).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mayara V. Damasceno.

Additional information

Communicated by Guido Ferretti.

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Damasceno, M.V., Lima-Silva, A.E., Pasqua, L.A. et al. Effects of resistance training on neuromuscular characteristics and pacing during 10-km running time trial. Eur J Appl Physiol 115, 1513–1522 (2015).

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  • Maximum dynamic strength
  • Electromyographic activity
  • Anaerobic performance
  • Running economy
  • Maximal oxygen uptake