Blood lactate thresholds and walking/running economy are determinants of backpack-running performance in trained soldiers

Richard J. Simpson, Scott M. Graham, Christopher Connaboy, Richard Clement, Luca Pollonini, Geraint D. Florida-James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We developed a standardized laboratory treadmill protocol for assessing physiological responses to a simulated backpack load-carriage task in trained soldiers, and assessed the efficacy of blood lactate thresholds (LTs) and economy in predicting future backpack running success over an 8-mile course in field conditions. LTs and corresponding physiological responses were determined in 17 elite British soldiers who completed an incremental treadmill walk/run protocol to exhaustion carrying 20 kg backpack load. Treadmill velocity at the breakpoint (r = −0.85) and Δ 1 mmol l−1 (r = −0.80) LTs, and relative V˙O2 at 4 mmol l−1 (r = 0.76) and treadmill walk/run velocities of 6.4 (r = 0.76), 7.4 (r = 0.80), 11.4 (r = 0.66) and 12.4 (r = 0.65) km h−1 were significantly associated with field test completion time. We report for the first time that LTs and backpack walk/run economy are major determinants of backpack load-carriage performance in trained soldiers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-572
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Field test
  • Load-carriage
  • Occupational physiology
  • Special forces
  • Treadmill protocol
  • Ventilatory threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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