Eric K. O'Neal1, Ryan T. Albino1, Jonathan C. Swain1, Dylan W. Sharp1, Tara V. Boy1, Lauren G. Killen1

1University of North Alabama, Department of Kinesiology, Florence, AL, United States

Warm-Up Striding Under Load Does Not Improve 5-Km Time Trial Performance in Collegiate Cross-Country Runners

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2020, 9(1), 73-78 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.200310


Post-activation potentiation has proven to be an effective strategy to enhance performance for many tasks, but little research has been conducted specifically concerning endurance sport performance. This study examined whether 5-km run performance could be improved by completing pre-run strides while wearing a 6.8 kg weighted compression garment (LOAD). A counter-balanced crossover field study design was incorporated with NCAA Division I Cross Country runners (n = 10) during coach-led, official team pre-season “speed day” practices. On Monday of Week 1, testing participants completed a course preview run and strategy session with their coach as they would do in preparation for a meet. The following two Mondays, participants completed the 5-km run as quickly as possible while blinded to pace. The team’s habitual warm-up routine was used, which included a 3.22-km run followed by a series of dynamic warm-up movements before four, 80-m strides were completed with LOAD or without load (CON). Average wet-bulb globe temperature for both sessions was 22.3 °C. CON did not differ (p>0.05) from LOAD in split times for kilometres 0.00-1.61 (339±13 vs 341±13 s), 1.61-3.22 (312±15 vs 312±16 s), 3.22-4.83 (339±21 vs 338±22 s), or the 0.17 km distance kick at the end of the run (71±16 vs 69±14 s). Overall time was also not improved for LOAD (1060±49 s) versus CON (1062±55 s). The ~10% body mass LOAD warm-up strategy failed to improve early, mid-, or finishing kick performance in a 5-km time-trial with well-trained runners.


post-activation potentiation, running economy, endurance athletes, leg stiffness

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