Special Forces: Oxygen Uptake, Lactate Threshold & Running Economy

Research Paper Title

Oxygen Uptake, Velocity at Lactate Threshold, and Running Economy in Elite Special Forces.

Objective

To examine the correlation of peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak), velocity at lactate threshold (V(LT)), and running economy (RE) in a group of Special Force Squad members.

Methods

VO2 peak, V(LT), and RE of 120 male elite special force police squad members (VO2 peak, 57.4 +/- 4.3 mL minute(-1) kg(-1); age, 28.9 +/- 5.2 years; body mass index, 24.2 +/- 1.6 kg m(-2)) were tested using an incremental treadmill protocol (2.4 m second(-1), increase 0.4 m second(-1) every 5 minutes). Running velocities at the first lactate inflection point (V(LT)) and blood lactate concentration at 4 mmol L(-1) (V4) were determined. RE was defined as oxygen uptake in mL kg(-1) minute(-1) at 3.2 m second(-1).

Results

Analysis revealed little or no correlation between V4, V(LT), VO2 peak, and RE (r = 0.02-0.35; p = 0.01-0.80).

Conclusions

  1. VO2 peak, V(LT), and RE do not correlate in elite squad members.
  2. All 3 variables should be assessed when comparing inter- and intra-individual differences in endurance performance of Special Force Squad members.

Source: Sperlich, B., Krueger, M., Zinner, C., Achtzehn, S., de Marees, M. & Mester, J. (2011) Oxygen Uptake, Velocity at Lactate Threshold, and Running Economy in Elite Special Forces. Military Medicine. 176(2), pp.218-221.

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