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Effects of Cycling vs. Running Training on Endurance Performance in Preparation for Inline Speed Skating

Stangier, Carolin; Abel, Thomas; Hesse, Clemens; Claen, Stephanie; Mierau, Julia; Hollmann, Wildor; Strüder, Heiko K.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: June 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 6 - p 1597–1606
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001247
Original Research

Abstract: Stangier, C, Abel, T, Hesse, C, Claßen, S, Mierau, J, Hollmann, W, and Strüder, HK. Effects of cycling vs. running training on endurance performance in preparation for inline speed skating. J Strength Cond Res 30(6): 1597–1606, 2016—Winter weather conditions restrict regular sport-specific endurance training in inline speed skating. As a result, this study was designed to compare the effects of cycling and running training programs on inline speed skaters' endurance performance. Sixteen (8 men, 8 women) high-level athletes (mean ± SD 24 ± 8 years) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (running and cycling). Both groups trained twice a week for 8 weeks, one group on a treadmill and the other on a cycle ergometer. Training intensity and duration was individually calculated (maximal fat oxidation: ∼52% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak: 500 kcal per session). Before and after the training intervention, all athletes performed an incremental specific (inline speed skating) and 1 nonspecific (cycling or running) step test according to the group affiliation. In addition to blood lactate concentration, oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2), ventilatory equivalent (VE/V[Combining Dot Above]O2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and heart rate were measured. The specific posttest revealed significantly increased absolute V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak values (2.9 ± 0.4, 3.4 ± 0.7, p = 0.01) and submaximal V[Combining Dot Above]O2 values (p ≤ 0.01). VE/V[Combining Dot Above]O2 and RER significantly decreased at maximal (46.6 ± 6.6, 38.5 ± 3.4, p = 0.005; 1.1 ± 0.03, 1.0 ± 0.04, p = 0.001) and submaximal intensities (p ≤ 0.04). None of the analysis revealed a significant group effect (p ≥ 0.15). The results indicate that both cycling vs. running exercise at ∼52% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak had a positive effect on the athletes' endurance performance. The increased submaximal V[Combining Dot Above]O2 values indicate a reduction in athletes' inline speed skating technique. Therefore, athletes would benefit from a focus on technique training in the subsequent period.

1Institute of Movement and Neurosciences, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany;

2Olympic Center Rheinland Cologne, Cologne, Germany; and

3Institute of Cardiology and Sports Medicine, German Sport University, Cologne, Germany

Address correspondence to Dr. Carolin Stangier,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.