Int J Sports Med 2009; 30(1): 27-32
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1038792
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Strength Training on Running Economy

L. G. A. Guglielmo1 , C. C. Greco1 , B. S. Denadai1
  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision June 16, 2008

Publication Date:
30 October 2008 (online)


The objective of this study was to compare the effect of different strength training protocols added to endurance training on running economy (RE). Sixteen well-trained runners (27.4 ± 4.4 years; 62.7 ± 4.3 kg; 166.1 ± 5.0 cm), were randomized into two groups: explosive strength training (EST) (n = 9) and heavy weight strength training (HWT) (n = 7) group. They performed the following tests before and after 4 weeks of training: 1) incremental treadmill test to exhaustion to determine of peak oxygen uptake and the velocity corresponding to 3.5 mM of blood lactate concentration; 2) submaximal constant-intensity test to determine RE; 3) maximal countermovement jump test and; 4) one repetition maximal strength test in leg press. After the training period, there was an improvement in RE only in the HWT group (HWT = 47.3 ± 6.8 vs. 44.3 ± 4.9 ml · kg−1 · min−1; EST = 46.4 ± 4.1 vs. 45.5 ± 4.1 ml · kg−1 · min−1). In conclusion, a short period of traditional strength training can improve RE in well-trained runners, but this improvement can be dependent on the strength training characteristics. When comparing to explosive training performed in the same equipment, heavy weight training seems to be more efficient for the improvement of RE.


  • 1 Arampatzis A, De Monte G, Karamanidis K, Morey-Klapsing G, Stafilidis S, Brüggemann G P. Influence of the muscle-tendon unit's mechanical and morphological properties on running economy.  J Exp Biol. 2006;  209 3345-3357
  • 2 Brisswalter J, Legros P. Daily stability in energy cost of running, respiratory parameters and stride rate among well-trained middle distance runners.  Int J Sports Med. 1994;  15 238-241
  • 3 Campos G E, Luecke T J, Wendeln H K, Toma K, Hagerman F C, Murray T F, Ragg K E, Ratamess N A, Kraemer W J, Staron R S. Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002;  88 50-60
  • 4 Cavanagh P R, Kram R. Mechanical and muscular factors affecting the efficiency of human movement.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1985;  17 326-331
  • 5 Daniels J T, Yarbrough R A, Foster C. Changes in V˙O2max and running performance with training.  Eur J Physiol. 1978;  39 249-254
  • 6 Delorme T L. Restoration of muscle power by heavy resistance exercise.  J Bone Joint Surg. 1945;  27 645-667
  • 7 Denadai B S, Gomide E BG, Greco C C. The relationship between onset of blood lactate accumulation, critical velocity and maximal lactate steady state in soccer players.  J Strength Cond Res. 2005;  19 364-368
  • 8 Denadai B S, Ortiz M J, Greco C C, de Mello M T. Interval training at 95 % and 100 % of the velocity at V˙O2max: effects on aerobic physiological indexes and running performance.  Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2006;  3 737-743
  • 9 Fleck S J, Kraemer W J. Resistance training: basic principles (part 1 of 4).  Physician Sportmed. 1988;  16 161-171
  • 10 Guedes D P. Composição corporal: princípios, técnicas e aplicações. Londrina; Associação dos Professores de Educação Física 1994
  • 11 Hakkinen K, Komi P V, Alen M. Effect of explosive type strength training on isometric force- and relaxation-time, electromyographic and muscle fibre characteristics of leg extensor muscles.  Acta Physiol Scand. 1985;  125 587-600
  • 12 Hakkinen K. Neuromuscular adaptation during strength-training, aging, detraining, and immobilization.  Crit Rev Phys Rehab Med. 1994;  6 161-198
  • 13 Hoff J, Almåsbakk B. The effects of maximum strength training on throwing velocity and muscle strength in female team handball players.  J Strength Cond Res. 1995;  9 225-258
  • 14 Hoff J, Gran A, Helgerud J. Maximal strength training improves aerobic endurance performance.  Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2002;  12 288-295
  • 15 Johnston R E, Quinn T J, Kertzer R, Vroman N B. Strength training in female distance runners: impact on running economy.  J Strength Cond Res. 1997;  11 224-229
  • 16 Jones A M, Carter H. The effect of endurance training on parameters of aerobic fitness.  Sports Med. 2000;  29 373-386
  • 17 Komi P V. Stretch-shortening cycle. Komi PV, ed. Strength and power in sport. London; Blackwell Scientific 1991: 169-179
  • 18 Lake M, Cavanagh P. Six weeks of training does not change running mechanics or improve running economy.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;  28 860-869
  • 19 MCcarthy J P, Agre J C, Graf B K, Pozniak M A, Vailas A C. Compatibility of adaptive responses with combining strength and endurance training.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995;  27 429-436
  • 20 Mil-Homens P. Relações entre a altura ideal de queda do ressalto e a impulsão vertical absoluta e relativa.  Motric Hum. 1987;  3 45-65
  • 21 Millet G P, Jaouen B, Borrani F, Candau R. Effects of concurrent endurance and strength training on running economy and V˙O2 kinetics.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;  34 1351-1359
  • 22 Morgan D W, Craib M W, Krahenbuhl G S, Woodall K, Jordan S, Filarski K, Burleson C, Williams T. Daily variability in running economy among well-trained male and female distance runners.  Res Q Exerc Sport. 1994;  65 72-77
  • 23 Noakes T D. Implications of exercise testing for prediction of athletic performance: a contemporary perspective.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988;  20 319-330
  • 24 Noakes T D. The lore of running. Champaign, IL; Human Kinetics 1991
  • 25 Nummela A, Keränen T, Mikkelsson L O. Factors related to top running speed and economy.  Int J Sports Med. 2007;  28 655-661
  • 26 Paavolainen L, Häkkinen K, Hamalainen I, Nummela A, Rusko H. Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscular power.  J Appl Physiol. 1999;  86 1527-1533
  • 27 Pereira M A, Freedson P S. Intraindividual variation of running economy in highly trained and moderately trained males.  Int J Sports Med. 1997;  18 118-124
  • 28 Schmidtbleicher D. Training for power event. Komi PV, ed. Strength and power in sport. London; Blackwell Scientific 1991: 381-395
  • 29 Sjödin B, Jacobs I, Svedenhag J. Changes in onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) and muscle enzymes after training at OBLA.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 1982;  49 45-57
  • 30 Smith T P, Coombes J S, Geraghty D P. Optimising high-intensity treadmill training using the running speed at maximal O2 uptake and the time for which this can be maintained.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003;  89 337-343
  • 31 Spurrs R W, Murphy A J, Watsford M L. The effect of plyometric training on distance running performance.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003;  89 1-7
  • 32 Turner A M, Owings M, Schwane J A. Improvement in running economy after 6 weeks of plyometric training.  J Strength Cond Res. 2003;  17 60-67

Dr. PhD Benedito Sérgio Denadai

Human Performance Laboratory

Av. 24 A, 1515, Bela Vista

13506 – 900 Rio Claro


Phone: + 55 19 35 26 43 25

Fax: + 55 19 35 26 43 21