Physiological and Locomotor Profiling Enables to Differentiate Between Sprinters, 400-m Runners, and Middle-Distance Runners.

Thron M; Institute of Sports and Sports Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Woll A; Doller L; InQuittmann OJ; Härtel S; Ruf L; Altmann S;

Journal of strength and conditioning research [J Strength Cond Res] 2024 May 24.
Date of Electronic Publication: 2024 May 24.

Physiological and locomotor profiling enables to differentiate between sprinters, 400-m runners, and middle-distance runners. [J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2024]-Different approaches exist for characterizing athletes, e.g., physiological and locomotor profiling. The aims of this study were to generate and compare physiological and locomotor profiles of male and female runners and to evaluate relationships between the different approaches. Thirty-four highly trained adolescent and young adult female and male athletes (n = 11 sprinters; n = 11,400-m runners; n = 12 middle-distance runners) performed two 100-m sprints on a running track to determine maximal sprinting speed (MSS) and maximal lactate accumulation rate (ċLamax).
A cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed on a treadmill to determine maximal aerobic speed (MAS) and maximal oxygen uptake (V̇o2max). Anaerobic speed reserve (ASR) was calculated as the difference between MSS and MAS. Group comparisons were conducted with a 2-way ANOVA (discipline × sex; p < 0.05) and Bonferroni post hoc tests and Cohen’s d as effect size. Parameters were correlated by Pearson’s correlation coefficients. Maximal aerobic speed and V̇o2max were higher in 400-m and middle-distance runners compared with sprinters (p ≤ 0.02; -2.24 ≤ d ≤ -1.29). Maximal sprinting speed and ċLamax were higher in sprinters and 400-m runners compared with middle-distance runners (0.03 ≤ p ≤ 0.28; 0.73 ≤ d ≤ 1.23). Anaerobic speed reserve was highest in sprinters and lowest in middle-distance runners (p ≤ 0.03; 1.24 ≤ d ≤ 2.79). High correlations were found between ASR and MAS, MSS, and ċLamax (p < 0.01; -0.55 ≤ r ≤ 0.91) and between ċLamax and MSS (p < 0.01; r = 0.74).
Our results indicate that athletes of different sprinting and running disciplines show differing physiological and locomotor profiles, and that the parameters of these approaches are related to each other. This can be of interest for assessing strengths and weaknesses (e.g., for talent identification) or training prescription in these disciplines.