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Concurrent Training in Elite Male Runners: The Influence of Strength Versus Muscular Endurance Training on Performance Outcomes

Sedano, Silvia1; Marín, Pedro J.1,2; Cuadrado, Gonzalo3; Redondo, Juan C.3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 9 - p 2433–2443
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318280cc26
Original Research

Abstract: Sedano, S, Marín, PJ, Cuadrado, G, and Redondo, JC. Concurrent training in elite male runners: The influence of strength versus muscular endurance training on performance outcomes. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2433–2443, 2013—Much recent attention has been given to the compatibility of combined aerobic and anaerobic training modalities. However, few of these studies have reported data related to well-trained runners, which is a potential limitation. Therefore, because of the limited evidence available for this population, the main aim was to determine which mode of concurrent strength-endurance training might be the most effective at improving running performance in highly trained runners. Eighteen well-trained male runners (age 23.7± 1.2 years) with a maximal oxygen consumption (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max) more than 65 ml·kg−1·min−1 were randomly assigned into 1 of the 3 groups: Endurance-only Group (n = 6), who continued their usual training, which included general strength training with Thera-band latex-free exercise bands and endurance training; Strength Group (SG; n = 6) who performed combined resistance and plyometric exercises and endurance training; Endurance-SG (ESG; n = 6) who performed endurance-strength training with loads of 40% and endurance training. The study comprised 12 weeks of training in which runners trained 8 times a week (6 endurance and 2 strength sessions) and 5 weeks of detraining. The subjects were tested on 3 different occasions (countermovement jump height, hopping test average height, 1 repetition maximum, running economy (RE), V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, maximal heart rate [HRmax], peak velocity (PV), rating of perceived exertion, and 3-km time trial were measured). Findings revealed significant time × group interaction effects for almost all tests (p < 0.05). We can conclude that concurrent training for both SG and ESG groups led to improved maximal strength, RE, and PV with no significant effects on the V[Combining Dot Above]O2 kinetics pattern. The SG group also seems to show improvements in 3-km time trial tests.

1Laboratory of Physiology, European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain

2Research Center on Physical Disability, ASPAYM Castilla y León, Leon, Spain

3Faculty of Sports Sciences, Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Leon, Leon, Spain

Address correspondence to Dr. Silvia Sedano, ssedano@uemc.es.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.