2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Human Potential and Performance

A Comparison of Gross Efficiency between Endurance and Sprint Athletes
Daniel P. Wilhite
Dr. Alex J. Koch, Faculty Mentor

Gross efficiency is defined as work performed/O2 consumed. The purpose of this study was to compare gross efficiency between distance runners and sprinters during a 10 minute run. Subjects were competitive track athletes (n=12), divided evenly into distance runners (n=6) and sprinters (n=6). Each subject performed a 10 minute treadmill jog at 4.5 mph after walking for 2 minutes at 2 mph. Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured in ml/kg/min each minute of the jog using open-circuit spirometry. An independent samples t test compared VO2 values of the distance group with those of the sprint group, and indicated that the distance group had a significantly lower VO2 during the jog than the sprinters (p=.024). This indicates that, at a slow running speed, distance runners are more efficient than sprinters. These findings imply that distance runners’ muscles have a greater oxidative capacity, resulting in better adaptation to longer periods of running.

Keywords: distance, athlete, sprint, efficiency, oxygen consumption, oxidative capacity, spirometry, open-circuit

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-10
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

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