Posts Tagged ‘Power’

Power Training To Increase Performance

February 6, 2009

This paper, by researchers in Finland, examines the link between neuromuscular power and running economy. What’s interesting to note here is that runners improved 5k performances without a corresponding increase in VO2max. However, the neuromuscular improvements associated with power training made them more efficient runners at race paces, and thus faster overall.

It seems that any quality training program should include some emphasis on power development. This would be especially true for cycling, which requires a high loading of the vastus lateralis and the ability to maintain high power for long periods of time.


Paavolainen, Leena, Keijo Ha¨ kkinen, Ismo Ha¨ – 

ma¨ la¨ inen, Ari Nummela, and Heikki Rusko. Explosive- 

strength training improves 5-km running time by improving 

running economy and muscle power. J. Appl. Physiol. 86(5): 

1527 – 1533, 1999training, whereas the development of maximal O2 

uptake (V˙ O2 max) is not influenced as much (e.g., Refs. 

10, 16, 18, 22). These observations are mainly based on 

experiments in which heavy-resistance strength train- 

What makes this study interesting is that it deals with trained athletes whom presumably have already attained a fairly high VO2max as a result of prolonged training. It would be interesting to compare the training program used in the study with a control group that performed short intervals at slightly faster than race pace for comparison. If neuromuscular adaptations are most specific to both the force and frequency of movement, then it would stand to reason that intervals at slightly higher than race pace would be at least as effective, perhaps even more, at decreasing 5k times.