The Effect of Locomotor-Respiratory Coupling on Running Economy at Sub-Lactate Threshold Running Speeds
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Locomotor-respiratory coupling (LRC), the phase-locking of gait and respiratory cycles, has been heavily researched. Previous studies reported on the effects of LRC ratios and their variability on various biomechanical and physiological processes, but no study has explicitly examined the effect of increasing workload on LRC. The purpose of the study was to develop a more precise testing protocol and to document the relationship between average LRC ratio and LRC ratio variability on V02 and running economy at increasing workloads. Eight subjects completed a modified lactate threshold test wherein the timing of their gait and respiratory cycles were recorded as well as oxygen uptake. Results indicated a significant decrease in average LRC ratio with increasing workload (p<0.001), with average LRC ratios appearing at integer, half-integer, and non-integer values with increasing workload. There was no significant difference between root mean square error in LRC ratio variabilities at increasing workloads (p=O. 725). Findings indicate recreational runners do not favor whole or half-integer LRC ratios, and instead LRC decreases with a linear trend with increasing workload.