Use of a heart rate:ground contact index to monitor and predict middle distance running performance.
Taylor & Francis
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The purpose of the present study was to determine if field-based variables associated with cardiovascular and neuromuscular stress could be used to accurately monitor and predict middle-distance running. Eleven middle-distance runners (age 21.3±1.6 years) completed three trials of steady-state running at 11, 13, and 15 km · h–1, and test performance was compared with competitive performance (personal best times converted to standardized Mericer scores). Oxygen uptake, heart rate (HR), and stride characteristics (ground contact time [Ct], flight time, step length, and step frequency) were monitored during treadmill running with the ratio of HR:1/Ct calculated. Heart rate and stride characteristics were significantly altered (all P<0.05) with increased running speed, while the HR:1/Ct index was unchanged. Stride characteristics, heart rate, and the HR:1/Ct index were reliable measures with no mean bias and low levels of random variation. The HR:1/Ct index was strongly related to competitive performance (r=–0.80 to 0.88, P<0.01). This was primarily attributed to the association between heart rate and Mercier scores (r=–0.81 to 0.87, P<0.01), whereas ground contact time was only moderately related to competitive performance at the fastest running speed (r=–0.60, P<0.05). Simple measures associated with cardiovascular and neuromuscular stress can be reliably monitored in middle-distance runners. A HR:1/Ct index provides a stable measure at any given submaximal running speed and may provide a useful tool for monitoring and predicting middle-distance running.
European Journal of Sport Science
Oliver, J.L. and Stembridge, M. (2011) 'Use of a heart rate-to-ground contact time index to monitor and predict middle-distance running', European Journal of Sport Science, 11(6), pp.431-436.
This article was published in European Journal of Sport Science on 17 August 2011 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2010.536582
- Sport Research Groups 
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