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Blood lactate thresholds and walking/running economy are determinants of backpack-running performance in trained soldiers

Simpson, Richard J.; Graham, Scott M.; Connaboy, Christopher; Clement, Richard; Pollonini, Luca; Florida-James, Geraint D.


Richard J. Simpson

Scott M. Graham

Christopher Connaboy

Richard Clement

Luca Pollonini


We developed a standardized laboratory treadmill protocol for assessing physiological responses to a simulated backpack load-carriage task in trained soldiers, and assessed the efficacy of blood lactate thresholds (LTs) and economy in predicting future backpack running success over an 8-mile course in field conditions. LTs and corresponding physiological responses were determined in 17 elite British soldiers who completed an incremental treadmill walk/run protocol to exhaustion carrying 20 kg backpack load. Treadmill velocity at the breakpoint (r = −0.85) and Δ 1 mmol l−1 (r = −0.80)
LTs, and relative VO2 at 4 mmol l−1 (r = 0.76) and treadmill walk/run velocities of 6.4 (r = 0.76), 7.4 (r = 0.80), 11.4 (r = 0.66) and 12.4 (r = 0.65) km h−1 were significantly associated with field test completion time. We report for the first time that LTs and backpack walk/run economy are major determinants of backpack load-carriage performance in trained soldiers.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 19, 2016
Online Publication Date May 4, 2016
Publication Date 2017-01
Deposit Date May 2, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 5, 2017
Journal Applied Ergonomics
Print ISSN 0003-6870
Electronic ISSN 1872-9126
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Pages 566-572
Keywords Load-carriage; Ventilatory threshold; Special forces;
Public URL
Contract Date May 2, 2016


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