Minimum cost of transport in human running is not ubiquitous

Cher, Pei Hua, Stewart, Ian B., & Worringham, Charles J. (2015) Minimum cost of transport in human running is not ubiquitous. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47(2), pp. 307-314.

View at publisher

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores recent claims that humans exhibit a minimum cost of transport (CoTmin) for running which occurs at an intermediate speed, and assesses individual physiological, gait and training characteristics.

Methods

Twelve healthy participants with varying levels of fitness and running experience ran on a treadmill at six self-selected speeds in a discontinuous protocol over three sessions. Running speed (km[middle dot]hr-1), V[spacing dot above]O2 (mL[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]km-1), CoT (kcal[middle dot]km-1), heart rate (beats[middle dot]min-1) and cadence (steps[middle dot]min-1) were continuously measured. V[spacing dot above]O2 max was measured on a fourth testing session. The occurrence of a CoTmin was investigated and its presence or absence examined with respect to fitness, gait and training characteristics.

Results

Five participants showed a clear CoTmin at an intermediate speed and a statistically significant (p < 0.05) quadratic CoT-speed function, while the other participants did not show such evidence. Participants were then categorized and compared with respect to the strength of evidence for a CoTmin (ClearCoTmin and NoCoTmin). The ClearCoTmin group displayed significantly higher correlation between speed and cadence; more endurance training and exercise sessions per week; than the NoCoTmin group; and a marginally non-significant but higher aerobic capacity. Some runners still showed a CoTmin at an intermediate speed even after subtraction of resting energy expenditure.

Conclusion

The findings confirm the existence of an optimal speed for human running, in some but not all participants. Those exhibiting a COTmin undertook a higher volume of running, ran with a cadence that was more consistently modulated with speed, and tended to be aerobically fitter. The ability to minimise the energetic cost of transport appears not to be ubiquitous feature of human running but may emerge in some individuals with extensive running experience.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

39 since deposited on 22 Sep 2014
17 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 74134
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Running economy, Optimal speed, Human locomotion, Motion efficiency
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000421
ISSN: 1530-0315
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Exercise Physiology (110602)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2014 22:14
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2015 16:56

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page