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Effect of speed endurance and strength training on performance, running economy and muscular adaptations in endurance-trained runners

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Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the effects of combined strength and speed endurance (SE) training along with a reduced training volume on performance, running economy and muscular adaptations in endurance-trained runners.

Methods

Sixteen male endurance runners (VO2-max: ~60 ml kg−1 min−1) were randomly assigned to either a combined strength and SE training (CSS; n = 9) or a control (CON; n = 7) group. For 8 weeks, CSS replaced their normal moderate-intensity training (~63 km week−1) with SE (2 × week−1) and strength training (2 × week−1) as well as aerobic high (1 × week−1) and moderate (1 × week−1) intensity training with a reduction in total volume of ~58 %, whereas CON continued their training (~45 km week−1).

Results

In CSS, 400-m and Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test performance was improved by 5 % (P < 0.01) and 19 % (P < 0.001), respectively, during the intervention period. Maximal aerobic speed was 0.6 km h−1 higher (P < 0.05), and maximal activity of lactate dehydrogenase subunits 1 and 2 was 17 % (P < 0.05) higher after compared to before the intervention period. Time to exhaustion and peak blood lactate during an incremental treadmill test was 9 % (P < 0.05) and 32 % (P < 0.01), respectively, higher and expression of Na+–K+ pump β1 subunit was 15 % higher (P < 0.05) after compared to before the intervention period. 10-K performance, maximum oxygen uptake and running economy were unchanged. In CON, no changes were observed.

Conclusions

Adding strength and speed endurance training, along with a reduced training volume, can improve short-term exercise capacity and induce muscular adaptations related to anaerobic capacity in endurance-trained runners.

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Abbreviations

AH:

Aerobic high-intensity training

AM:

Aerobic moderate-intensity training

CON:

Control group

COX:

Cytochrome c oxidase

CS:

Citrate synthase

CSS:

Combined strength and speed endurance

HAD:

Hydroxyaxyl-CoA dehydrogenase

HRmax :

Maximal heart rate

LDH:

Lactate dehydrogenase

MAS:

Maximal aerobic speed

MCT:

Monocarboxylate transporter

Na+–K+ pump:

Sodium potassium pump

NHE:

Na+/H+-exchanger

PFK:

Phosphofructokinase

RM:

Repetition maximum

SE:

Speed endurance

VO2-max:

Maximal oxygen uptake

Yo-Yo IR:

Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test

%VO2-max:

Relative maximal oxygen uptake

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Acknowledgments

We thank J. Schmidt and L. Nybo for excellent medical assistance as well as J.J. Nielsen and M. Thomassen for excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by Team Denmark.

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Correspondence to Jens Bangsbo.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Communicated by Michael Lindinger.

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Vorup, J., Tybirk, J., Gunnarsson, T.P. et al. Effect of speed endurance and strength training on performance, running economy and muscular adaptations in endurance-trained runners. Eur J Appl Physiol 116, 1331–1341 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-016-3356-4

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