Haley L. Gilbert, Priya L. Giddens, Andrew Craig-Jones. Augusta University, Augusta, GA.

BACKGROUND. Running has gained popularity over the years increasing techniques to peak performance with minimal injury. A popular ergogenic aid today are compression garments which have been perceived to enhance recovery and improve performance. Compression pants decrease the amplitude of muscle oscillation and therefore may have an effect on oxygen consumption as well. If muscles are not working as hard to mitigate soft tissue movement, it is also possible that fatigue may be reduced during long distance running. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of compression garments on oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) during a 40-minute submaximal run. METHODS. 7 injury-free runners (33.43±9.98 yrs;69.60±10.22kg;1.72±0.06m; 4M, 3F) participated in the study. Participants ran in full-leg compression garments (COMP) and loose-fitting control garments (CON). The participants ran each condition for 40-minutes on a treadmill at their preferred speed. Preferred speed was determined by taking the average speed from 3 blinded trials. Each participant was instructed to increase pace until they were comfortable for a 60-minute training run. This average speed was used for the CON and COMP conditions while collecting all dependent variables. Oxygen consumption was recorded continuously via a metabolic cart. HR was measured continuously using a telemetric heart rate monitor placed just below the sternum. Average V02 was calculated beginning at the onset of steady state until the end of each 40-minute condition. Average VO2 drift was calculated subtracting the average VO2 of the last 3 minutes of each run from the first 3 minutes of steady state. HR was recorded continuously throughout the entirety of each condition and HR was averaged across the condition for analysis. Dependent variables (avg VO2, VO2 drift, and HR) were analyzed using paired sample t-tests (α=0.05). RESULTS. Average VO2 was not different (p>0.05) between conditions (CON:31.39±9.37 ml/kg/min, COMP: 32.33±7.86ml/kg/min). VO2 drift was not different (p>0.05) between conditions with COMP increasing 1.91+ 3.02ml/kg/min and CON increasing 2.07+4.25 ml/kg/min over the 40-minute run. Additionally, HR was not different (p>0.05) between conditions (CON: 142.57±17.36 bpm, COMP 143.77±19.32 bpm). CONCLUSION. Based on our findings compression garments had no effect on oxygen consumption or heart rate.

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