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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.

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

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.