European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 465–473 | Cite as

Force–velocity profiling of sprinting athletes: single-run vs. multiple-run methods

  • Christian Helland
  • Thomas Haugen
  • Elvir Rakovic
  • Ola Eriksrud
  • Olivier Seynnes
  • Antti A. Mero
  • Gøran PaulsenEmail author
Original Article



This study explored the agreement between a single-run and a multiple-run method for force–velocity (Fv) profiling of sprinting athletes; we evaluated both absolute values and changes over time caused by sprint training.


Seventeen female handball players (23 ± 3 years, 177 ± 7 cm, 73 ± 6 kg) performed 30 m un-resisted and resisted sprints (50, 80 and 110 N resistance) before and after an 8-week sprint training intervention. Two approaches were used to calculate theoretical maximal velocity (v0), horizontal force (F0), power (Pmax), and the force–velocity slope (SFv): (1) the single-run method, based on inverse dynamics applied to the centre-of-mass movement, was calculated from anthropometric and sprint split time data; and (2) the multiple-run method, where peak velocity from un-resisted and resisted sprints were plotted against the horizontal resistances.


Trivial differences in v0 (0.7%) were observed between the two calculation methods. Corresponding differences for F0, Pmax and SFv were 16.4, 15.6 and 17.6%, respectively (most likely; very large effect size). F0 showed poor agreement between the methods (r = 0.26 and 0.16 before and after the intervention). No substantial correlation between the changes (from pre- to post-training tests) in SFV calculated with the single-run and the multiple-run methods were observed (r = 0.02).


This study revealed poor agreement between the Fv relationships of the investigated calculation methods. In practice, both methods may have a purpose, but the single-run and the multiple-run methods appear to measure somewhat different sprint properties and cannot be used interchangeably.


Acceleration Running Sprint mechanical properties Testing 



Confidence interval




Coefficient of variation


Effect size


Maximum theoretical horizontal force




Maximum horizontal power


Slope of the linear force–velocity relationship


Typical error


Theoretical maximal velocity

Change (delta)


Author contributions

CH, TH, OE, ER and GP were responsible for conception and design. CH, TH and ER collected the data. CH, TH and GP conducted the data analyses and drafted the manuscript. All authors (CH, TH, OE, ER, OS, AM and GP) contributed in the interpretation of the data and critical revision of the article. All authors approved the final version of the article published.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of SportsOsloNorway
  2. 2.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Norwegian School of Sport SciencesOsloNorway
  4. 4.Biology of Physical ActivityUniversity of JyväskyläJyvaskylaFinland

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