The Time Course of Neuromuscular Changes during Running in Well-Trained Subjects

Emma Ross, Stuart Goodall, Antonia Stevens, Ian Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Prolonged exercise reduces the capacity of the neuromuscular system to produce force, which is known as fatigue. The purpose of this study was to examine the time course of neural and contractile processes during a 20-km running bout. METHODS: Eight experienced runners (mean T SD: age = 31 T 6 yr, VO2max = 60.1 T 2.2 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) completed an all-out self-paced 20-km treadmill run. Isometric knee extensor torque and EMG responses of the vastus lateralis (VL) in response to percutaneous electrical stimulation and voluntary contraction were measured before and after 5, 10, 15, and 20 km of exercise. RESULTS: Participant's RPE, measured using the Borg 6-20 scale, increased steadily throughout the run to a value of 18 T 1 at exercise termination. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of the knee extensors only decreased during the final 5 km of running, with a 15% +/- 12% (P = 0.02) decrease at 20 km. Vastus lateralis EMG during an MVC was reduced after 15 km (-18% +/- 21%, P = or
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1190
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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