Muscle Tone and Body Weight Predict Uphill Race Time in Amateur Trail Runners
Authors: César Berzosa, Héctor Gutierrez, Pablo Jesús Bascuas, Irela Arbones, Ana Vanessa Bataller-Cervero
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad San Jorge, Autov. A-23 Zaragoza-Huesca, 50830 Villanueva de Gállego, Zaragoza, Spain
Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance - February 2021, Volume 18, Issue 4, Article no.2040 (DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18042040)
Background: Vertical kilometer is an emerging sport where athletes continuously run uphill. The aims of this study were to assess changes in vertical impacts caused by uphill running (UR) and the relation between the anthropometric and lower limb muscular characteristics with speed.
Methods: Ten male experienced runners (35 ± 7 years old) participated in this study. In the racetrack (4.2 km long, 565 m high), seven sections were stablished. Mean speed and impact value of sections with similar slope (≈21%) were calculated. The gastrocnemius stiffness (GS) and tone (GT) and the vastus lateralis stiffness (VS) and tone (VT) were assessed before the race.
Results: Pearson’s correlation showed a linear relationship between vs. and VT (r = 0.829; p = 0.000), GT and GS (r = 0.792; p = 0.001). Mean speed is correlated with weight (r = −0.619; p = 0.024) and GT (r = 0.739; p = 0.004). Multiple linear regressions showed a model with weight and GT as dependent variables of mean speed. Mean impacts decreased significantly between sections along the race.
Conclusions: The vertical impacts during UR were attenuated during the race. Moreover, body weight and GT were associated with the time-to-finish, which supports that low weight alone could not be enough to be faster, and strength training of plantar flexors may be a determinant in UR.
Keywords: Fatigue, Vertical impacts, Stiffness, GPS