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



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.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Change history

  • 05 January 2019

    The author would like to correct the errors in the publication of the original article. The corrected details are given below for your reading.



Confidence interval




Coefficient of variation


Effect size

F 0 :

Maximum theoretical horizontal force



P max :

Maximum horizontal power

S Fv :

Slope of the linear force–velocity relationship


Typical error

v 0 :

Theoretical maximal velocity


Change (delta)


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Author information




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.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gøran Paulsen.

Additional information

This manuscript has been read and approved by all the listed co-authors. The manuscript contains original material only that has not previously been published, and is not currently under consideration elsewhere, nor will be submitted elsewhere until a final decision has been made by the journal.

Communicated by Jean-René Lacour.

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Helland, C., Haugen, T., Rakovic, E. et al. Force–velocity profiling of sprinting athletes: single-run vs. multiple-run methods. Eur J Appl Physiol 119, 465–473 (2019).

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  • Acceleration
  • Running
  • Sprint mechanical properties
  • Testing