The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML, PDF)

Fifteen highly trained distance runners ([latin capital V with dot above]O2max 71.1 /- 6.0 ml[middle dot]min-1[middle dot]kg-1, mean /- SD) were randomly assigned to a plyometric training (PLY; n = 7) or control (CON; n = 8) group. In addition to their normal training, the PLY group undertook 3 x 30 minutes PLY sessions per week for 9 weeks. Running economy (RE) was assessed during 3 x 4 minute treadmill runs (14, 16, and 18 km[middle dot]h-1), followed by an incremental test to measure [latin capital V with dot above]O2max. Muscle power characteristics were assessed on a portable, unidirectional ground reaction force plate. Compared with CON, PLY improved RE at 18 km[middle dot]h-1 (4.1%, p = 0.02), but not at 14 or 16 km[middle dot]h-1. This was accompanied by trends for increased average power during a 5-jump plyometric test (15%, p = 0.11), a shorter time to reach maximal dynamic strength during a strength quality assessment test (14%, p = 0.09), and a lower [latin capital V with dot above]O2-speed slope (14%, p = 0.12) after 9 weeks of PLY. There were no significant differences in cardiorespiratory measures or [latin capital V with dot above]O2max as a result of PLY. In a group of highly-trained distance runners, 9 weeks of PLY improved RE, with likely mechanisms residing in the muscle, or alternatively by improving running mechanics.

(C) 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association