Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine performance-related physiological adaptations (VO2max, Lactate Threshold, and Running Economy) and skeletal muscle architectural changes (muscle thickness, pennation angle, and fascicle length) of the vastus lateralis (VL) and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) to marathon training with and without a concurrent circuit resistance-training program. Methods: Thirteen subjects (21 ± 1 yrs, 171 ± 2 cm, 65 ± 2 kg, 55 ± 2 ml/kg/min) completed a 15-week progressive marathon-training program. Nine subjects completed the 15 weeks of progressive marathon-training alone (AE), while 4 subjects participated in the 9-week circuit training program (CONC), in addition to the run training. VO2max, lactate threshold, running economy, muscle thickness, pennation angle and fascicle length were assessed before and after training. 2x2 repeated measures ANOVAs and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Tests were used to test the effects of the concurrent training intervention (AE vs. CONC) and general training program (pre vs. post training). Pearson correlations were utilized to examine relationships between changes in architectural and cardiovascular/metabolic parameters. Results: Absolute VO2max (L/min) increased in ALL with training (3.58 ± 0.18 vs. 3.73 ± 0.22; p=0.018), with a 9% increase in CONC (3.52 ± 0.38 L/min vs. 3.87 ± 0.50 L/min; p=0.031) and no change in AE. Lactate threshold increased significantly in ALL post-training (12.4 ± 0.3 kph vs. 13.2 ± 0.3 kph; p=0.012), with no differences between groups. There were no changes in running economy [submax VO2 (ml/kg/min]. LG pennation angle increased in ALL (17± 1.0°; p=0.056), with no differences between groups, while VL pennation angle did not change. There were no changes in muscle thickness or fascicle length in the VL or LG. Conclusion: Notwithstanding the small sample size, concurrent marathon and circuit training appears to increase absolute VO2max to a greater extent than marathon training alone. Marathon training increases LG pennation angle, and the change is not influenced by concurrent circuit resistance training. These findings suggest that that it can be beneficial for beginning marathon runners to supplement with concurrent circuit training programs, and that LG pennation angle is highly sensitive to endurance run training.

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