E. T. Watt, K. A. Brandt, E. R. Travis, & W. M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

Anaerobic interval exercise training has been shown to effectively improve anaerobic power and cycling endurance performance. PURPOSE: To test the effects of a two-week high-intensity cycle interval protocol on two-mile run time trial performance. METHODS: A convenience sample of 12 college-age students volunteered for participation. Participants performed two separate two-mile running time trials and an individual Wingate session for familiarization. Next, all participants performed a two-mile run pre-test on an outdoor track. Afterward, participants were randomly divided into control and experimental groups. Participants in the experimental group completed a two-week high-intensity cycle interval protocol, which consisted of six sessions (separated by 24-hours of rest). Each session included multiple (4-7) 30-second Wingate sprints, separated by 4-minutes of rest. The control group continued their normal physical activity during the training period. Following the training period, all participants performed a two-mile run post-test on the same outdoor track. Run time, in seconds, was recorded for data analysis. The independent variable was training condition (control vs. experimental) and the dependent variable was two-mile run time. A factorial ANOVA was used to compare differences between pre- and post-test run times and control and experimental group performances. Alpha (α) was set at p ≤ 0.05 to determine statistical significance. RESULTS: There was a statistical difference (p=0.001) between and within groups. Pairwise comparison within groups (pre- vs. post-test) indicated a significant difference between two-mile run times (990.0±80.4s vs. 936.4±61.7s; p=0.001). In addition, a pairwise comparison between training groups (control vs. experimental) indicated a significant difference between two-mile run times (1018.3±86.6s vs. 908.05±55.5s; p=0.046). CONCLUSION: Participants from both groups improved running time from pre- to post-test with the exception of two participants in the control group who ran slower during the post-test. The improvement in both groups could be attributed to a learning effect from the pre-test. Despite this, the experimental group improved two-mile run time more than the control group, which suggests that short-duration, high-intensity cycle interval training can indeed improve running performance. Due to the low sample size, statistical power of the study was very low (0.001), so future research with more participants is needed to verify these results.

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