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The Influence of Compression Tights on Markers of Economy for Cross-Country Skiers During Steady-State Running: 559Board #3 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Bakken, Bjorn; Heil, Daniel P. FACSM; Borgen, Katheryn A.; Willis, Sarah J.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 8
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000402691.04698.66
A-24 Thematic Poster - Winter Sports: JUNE 1, 2011 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM: ROOM: 404

Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.


(No relationships reported)

The benefit of wearing compression tights (CT) for patients experiencing lower-limb circulatory disorders has been well documented, yet little is known about possible performance benefits of wearing CTs during endurance exercise.

PURPOSE: This was a pilot investigation of the potential influence of CTs on markers of running economy.

METHODS: Five well-trained cross-country skiers (3 men, 2 women) (Mean±SD: 25±10 yrs, 72.8±8.2 kg body mass) completed three treadmill tests on separate lab visits. Subjects performed an incremental ski-striding test to volitional exhaustion to measure maximal oxygen uptake (VO2MAX) and heart rate at lactate threshold (HRLT). During the next visit, subjects ran for 60-mins at a speed that elicited 85% of HRLT (Mean±SD: 11.0±0.5 km/hr) while wearing one of two clothing conditions: CTs or standard running shorts. Subjects ran 60-mins again for the last visit at the same speed wearing the second clothing condition, the order of which was counterbalanced. During the 60-min runs, measures of oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate (HR), left-thigh accelerometry (AC), stepping rate (SR), and core (TC) and skin temperature (TSK) were summarized at the sixth minute of each successive 10-min time interval (T1-T6). Blood lactate (LA) was measured at the end of each time interval. Values of VO2 and HR were also summarized as the change for each subject from their first time interval values (ΔVO2 and ΔHR, respectively). Dependent variables were evaluated using a multivariate 2-factor repeated measures ANOVA with planned contrasts for post-hoc analyses. All comparisons were performed at the 0.05 α-level.

RESULTS: Measures of VO2, HR, SR, TC, TSK, and LA were statistically similar at each time interval between conditions (P≥0.05). In contrast, AC was significantly lower when wearing CTs during T3-T6, ΔHR was lower at T4 when wearing CTs (Mean±SE: 5.2±0.4 vs. 6.7±1.1), and ΔVO2 was lower at T4 when wearing CTs (0.72±0.22 vs. 1.18±0.25) (P≤0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: While wearing CTs, subjects experienced less movement of the thigh musculature, a non-significant trend to take fewer steps, and a trend towards less drift in VO2 and HR over 60-mins of running. These results suggest that CTs have a positive influence on markers of running economy, and warrant further study with a greater sample size to clarify these trends.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine