The Effects Of PowercranksTM Cross-training On Running Performances
Nicholas Fiolo, Lee Taylor, Angela R. Hillman.
Poster Presentation 2014 ACSM conference
Cycling remains a viable form of cross-training for runners. Uncoupled cycling requires each leg to work independently necessitates greater recruitment of the hip ﬂexors and knee ﬂexors to move the pedal through the top and bottom of the pedal stroke. Anecdotal reports from triathletes using PowerCranksTM claim considerable improvements in running performance after uncoupled training.
PURPOSE: To determine the effects of a six week training cross-training program using the uncoupled PowerCranksTM on 5k time trial performance, VO2max, and running economy.
METHODS: 12 recreational runners (9 Male, body mass 83.87 ± 14.02 kg, age 28.67 ± 11.56 years, VO2max 52.17 ± 1.85 ml·kg-1·min-1) completed measures of running performance, VO2max, running economy, and a 5k time trial over a familiarization and baseline sessions. Participants were randomly assigned to a six week training program of PowerCranksTM (PC) cycling, or a control (CON) program of no cycling. The cycling programs consisted of 3 training sessions per week and progressed 20, 30, 30, 30, 40, 40 minutes in duration. Participants in the cycling group reduced their weekly run time by the time spent cycling. Participants repeated the performance tests post training.
RESULTS: PC training resulted in a reduced 5k time (1466 ± 18 vs. 1546 ± 44 s, p <0.05). Average heart rate (HR) was higher over the entire 5k (175.57 ± 18.01 vs. 168.60 ± 17.06 bpm, p <0.05) over the last 5 minutes (179.17 ± 18.36 vs. 176.12 ± 17.74 bpm, p <0.05) following PC training. There was no difference in average HR over the ﬁnal minute pre and post training. Absolute VO2max increased following PC training (4204.88 ± 866.38 vs. 4124.13 ± 804.13 ml·min-1, p <0.05) and occurred at a lower RER (0.94 ± 0.03 vs. 0.97 ± 0.04, p <0.05). There were no differences in running economy or RER during the running economy for either the PC or CON groups. There were no differences in VO2max or 5k performance in the CON group.
Discussion: Six weeks of PC training resulted in improvements VO2max and 5k performance. PC training may enhance performance at higher intensities by increasing fatigue resistance, as indicated by the higher HR values, and improving oxidative capacity, as indicated by the reduction in RER values. These improvements may explain the reduction in 5k time, as this race is performed near maximal effort.
COMMENT: This study proves what every triathlete who has ever used the product knows, PowerCranking improves running quickly and significantly in almost everyone. In this study the particpants had to train on the PowerCranks at a running cadence which is necessary to see improvement quickly.