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Physiological characteristics and performance of a world-record breaking tower runner

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This study reports the physiological and performance profiles of a world-class tower runner during a 6-week period surrounding a successful Guinness World Record (WR) attempt, and discusses the efficacy of a tower running specific field test. The world-ranked number 2 tower runner completed four exercise tests [laboratory treadmill assessment (3 weeks before the WR attempt), familiarisation to a specific incremental tower running field test (1 week before), tower running field test (1 week after), and tower running time trial (TT) (3 weeks after)] and the WR attempt within 6-week period. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) during the laboratory test, field test, and TT were 73.3, 75.5 and 78.3 mL·kg−1·min−1, respectively. The VO2 corresponding to the second ventilatory threshold was 67.3 mL·kg−1·min−1 (89.1% of VO2peak), identified at stage 4 (tempo; 100 b·min−1), during the field test. The duration of the TT was 10 min 50 s, with an average VO2 of 71.7 mL·kg−1·min−1 (91.6% of VO2peak), HR of 171 b·min−1 (92% of peak HR), vertical speed of 0.47 m·s−1, and cadence was 117 steps·min−1. A world-class tower runner possesses a well-developed aerobic capacity. A specific, field-based test revealed greater VO2peak than a laboratory test, indicating a need for sport-specific testing procedures.

Keywords: World-class; field testing; maximal oxygen uptake; skyscraper; time trial

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Sports Performance, National Sports Institute of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2: Division of Research and Innovation, National Sports Institute of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 3: School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia 4: Centre for Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine, University of Brighton, Eastbourne, UK 5: Scientific Conditioning Centre, Hong Kong Sports Institute, Hong Kong, China

Publication date: March 4, 2023

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