Is a Submaximal 6-min Exercise Test Protocol to Assess HRC of Running Considered Valid to estimate vVO2max of Recreational Runners for both Treadmills & Outdoor Tracks?

Research Paper Title

Heart rate cost of running in track estimates velocity associated with maximal oxygen uptake.

Background

Running velocity associated with VO2max (vVO2max) is a parameter widely used for exercise prescription and is related to endurance performance. However, the vVO2max determination usually requires a maximal effort test and equipped laboratory for expired gas analysis, what make difficulty its assessment. Therefore, the researchers aimed to test the validity of a simple method of vVO2max prediction through the heart rate cost of running (HRC) in a submaximal 6-min running test, both in treadmill and in a 400-meter track.

Methods

Male recreational runners (n=16; 30.3 ± 8.0 years; VO2max of 46.2 ± 3.2 ml·kg−1·min−1) randomly underwent an incremental test in treadmill with gas analysis, and a 3000-m time trial in a track, to determine vVO2max. Before every maximal test, participants also performed a submaximal 6-min running (~85% HRmax), both in the treadmill and in a track, to assess HRC (bpm−1m·min−1) by dividing the submaximal running velocity by its respective HR. The vVO2max (km·h−1) was predicted by dividing the HRmax (bpm)/HRC (bpm−1m·min−1).

Results

No differences were verified (p > .05) among vVO2max determined both in the treadmill (13.8 ± 0.9 km·h−1) and track (13.6 ± 0.9 km·h−1) to those predicted by the HRC method both in treadmill (13.5 ± 0.8 km·h−1) and track (13.6 ± 1.0 km·h−1). The vVO2max measured directly with expired gas analysis was highly correlated with vVO2max estimated through HRC in treadmill and track (p < .05). Additionally, the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman technique revealed good agreement and reliability classified with substantial agreement [ICC=0.673 (95% CI 0.064–0.886; p=.019)] and almost perfect agreement [ICC=0.870 (95% CI 0.628–0.955 p=.0001)] between methods to identify vVO2max, respectively.

Conclusions

A submaximal 6-min exercise test protocol to assess HRC of running was considered valid to estimate vVO2max of recreational runners both in treadmill and outdoor track.

Reference

Olhera, R.R., Salesc, M.M., Sousaa, C.V., Soteroa, R.C., Madride, B., Cunhab, R.R., Moraesa, M.R. & Simoesa, H.G. (2019) Heart rate cost of running in track estimates velocity associated with maximal oxygen uptake. Physiology & Behavior. 205, pp.33-38.

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