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Non-motorized Treadmill Running Is Associated With Higher Cardiometabolic Demands Compared With Overground and Motorized Treadmill Running


Non-motorized Treadmill Running Is Associated With Higher Cardiometabolic Demands Compared With Overground and Motorized Treadmill Running

Robert B Edwards et al. Front Physiol.


The aim of this study was to compare the cardiometabolic demands of running on a curved non-motorized treadmill (cNMT) with overground (OVR) and motorized treadmill (MOT) running. Fourteen trained male (n = 7) and female (n = 7) runners ([Formula: see text] 56.6 ± 4.0 participated in the study. Each experimental session consisted of 5 × 6-min bouts of running at progressively higher speeds, separated by 6-min rest (females 9-15 km.h-1; males 10.5-16.5 km.h-1). Oxygen consumption ([Formula: see text]) and heart rate (HR) during the last 2 min of each bout were measured using a portable metabolic cart. Running at a set speed on the cNMT required a higher percentage of [Formula: see text] than OVR (mean ± 90% CI, 22 ± 6%; ES ± 90% CI, 1.87 ± 0.15) and MOT (16 ± 6%; ES 1.50 ± 0.15) running. Similarly, HR during the cNMT was higher compared to OVR (25 ± 9 beats.min-1, ES 1.23 ± 0.14) and MOT (22 ± 9 beats.min-1, ES 1.35 ± 0.13) trials. The decline in running economy observed during the cNMT trial was negatively related to body mass (R2 0.493, P = 0.01), indicating lighter runners were required to work at a higher relative intensity to overcome treadmill belt resistance. These data demonstrate the higher cardiometabolic demand associated with running at a given speed on the cNMT. It is critical these differences are taken into account when prescribing training intensities on the cNMT or translating data from the laboratory to an athletic setting.

Keywords: VO2; lower body power; lower body strength; oxygen consumption; perceived exertion; running; running economy; treadmill.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Study design. Metabolic data were monitored throughout each of the running bouts and RPE collected at the end of each bout. CMJ, counter movement jump; cNMT, curved non-motorized treadmill; HR, heart rate; IMTP, isometric mid-thigh pull; MOT, motorized treadmill; OVR, overground; RPE, rating of perceived exertion; SJ, squat jump; VO2, oxygen consumption.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Male (A), female (B), and combined data (C) for percent peak oxygen consumption (%VO2peak), heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) at each speed during overground (formula image) motorized (formula image) and curved non-motorized treadmill (formula image) running. All data are mean ± SD.
Figure 3
Figure 3
The relationship between running economy and body mass at 10.5 km.h−1 during overground (formula image, solid line) motorized (formula image, dashed line) and curved non-motorized treadmill (formula image, dotted line) running.

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