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Using physiological theory you will be required to create a model/brain storm/mind map for the important physiological factors that contribute to your chosen skill/sport. You will present your model/brain storm/mind map at the start of the assignment and then your essay will follow.

The essay should include:

  1. A Rationale that is evidence based (research from journal articles) which explains why the physiological factor in your given sports skill is important.
  2. Improvement: Using evidence from research (journal articles), identify interventions that can influence the physiological factor in question (be critical).
  3. Implementation: Using evidence from research (journal articles) explain how you can use the knowledge you have to improve the performance most effectively.

Factors Affecting Sprinting Performance

Successful sprinting depends majorly on the ability of the runners to cope or adapt to physiological factors. Sprinting refers to running speeds above the lower limit range of 19-25 km/hr. Power and strength are the main determinants of the velocity developed during sprinting. Physiological factors and the general coordination of body parts are responsible for the efficient use of this energy. The physiological factors include and not limited to oxygen uptake, athletes running economy, aerobic metabolism, anaerobic breakdown of carbohydrates and the burning of fats, sugars, and sometimes even proteins (Rabadán et al., 2011, p.980). Also, human anatomy such as the height, body size, and weight, stride length, and frequency, somatotype, power and muscle fibre composition cannot be ignored. Effective sprinting relies heavily on the application of velocity at the anaerobic threshold (Tjelta, 2016, p.127). Sprinting as a sporting activity depends upon the coordination of the different body parts, that is, the ability to combine the actions of the legs, arms and the trunk.


Metabolic factors and particularly maximal anaerobic performance are essential determinants of sprinting performance. For short races, say 100 meters, energy form such activity is predominantly determined by an anaerobic reaction because it involves short time spans. Physiologically, this is to mean that the mitochondrial respiration has little or minimal contribution to the energy generated within this time span (Sleivert, and Taingahue, 2004, p.48).  However, no single activity carried out by a human being is totally anaerobic as there is always a basal rate of oxygen consumption. Nevertheless, the shorter the event the smaller the aerobic contribution. The energy consumed during sprinting is referred to as anaerobic power and depends on the turnover rate of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by the sprinter's body. Tjelta and Dyrstad, (2012, p.13) shows that from a 30 seconds exercise, ATP turnover from mitochondrial respiration contributes approximately 30 percent of the total sprinting energy requirements and 10% for the first 10 seconds of a 100m race.

The dominant metabolic energy system during sprinting is the phosphagen system that heavily relies on the storage of creatine phosphate (PCR) in the muscles. When this system is fully functional, creatine phosphate generates ATP at very high levels maintaining muscle ATP at a constant level. However, phosphate system is only able to meet the requirements for the sprinter for only 10 seconds where when other systems come into play to substitute the energy demands (Bret et al., 2003, p.110).

Metabolic Factors and Anaerobic Performance

Running velocity is a function of stride length, stride frequency, and anaerobic endurance. The three can be improved through training. Despite the fact that, stride frequency is an inherited element, improvement can be achieved through correcting one’s biomechanical techniques. With regard to stride length, the rule of the thumbs is, legs are strongest when pushing as opposed to when pulling the rest of the body. Long stride length is beneficial though if not managed properly can be very detrimental to the sprinter (Holm, Sattler and Fregosi, 2004, p.13). As an example, whenever an athlete overstrides, he/she is forced to wait until the center of gravity of the body surpasses the front foot so as to start the pushing action. Repetition of this phenomenon will not only consume the very limited time to the sprinter but will also deplete the anaerobic power. Also, the foot and the lower leg should at all times strike at 90- degrees angle failure to which braking action will take place.

About anaerobic endurance, the maximum speed in a 100-meter race is achieved when at 60 meters and therefore any sprinter attempting to increase their velocity beyond this point are likely to reduce their energy build in the muscles. At this point, the body is at the maxima of the anaerobic power and further energy demand by the muscles can be very deleterious. The trick is to keep track of the race upon reaching full speed, and this way, one is able to supply energy to the muscles at very high levels.  Speed works and short interval pieces of training helps in developing anaerobic capacity needed for the sprinting activity (Saunders et al., 2004, 472).

Studies show that adopting certain tips can facilitate sprinting. The improvements are as discussed. At the very start of a spring race, the sprinter should focus on pushing downwards and backwards so as to set the body in to fast motion. Flexing the knee and allowing the foot towards the buttocks helps reduces the energy required for the recovery phase as well as increasing both the stride length and frequency. Excessive flexing of the ankle slows down the speed of the leg and particularly in the recovery phase. In order to overcome backward reaction forces, the sprinter should slightly lean forward relatively to the ground. However, one should be careful not to bend the trunk forward as this will hinder hip flexion and consequently cut stride length. Finally, relaxation during running helps coordinate the whole body effort and as thus acquire the maximum efficiency. Training is very important in enhancing enzymatic activity (Billat et al., 2004 p.780).

Stride Length, Stride Frequency, and Anaerobic Endurance

Muscle strength affects sprinting activity. Maximum muscle strength is the maximum force generated by the muscles at a specific speed.  Sprinting requires ultimately high levels of repeated muscle contractions and replenishment of the ATP from other sources of fuel.  The legs and the trunk use the muscle strength to propel the runner off the ground while at the same time limiting and counter-attacking the braking force (Faude, Kindermann, and Meyer, 2009, p.472). As mentioned above the energy comes from the anaerobic system for the first 10 seconds from where aerobic system come in to rescue.

In a sprinting activity, acceleration occurs mostly in the first 30-50 meters. In this part of the race, the hip and the knee extensors undergo concentric contractions. The concentric contractions produce quick acceleration whereas eccentric contractions optimize the top-end speed by slowing the forward swing of the legs and by positioning the foot strike just below the hip joint (Midgley, McNaughton, Jones, 2007, p.864).  Top-end speed, in this case, refers to the speed that a sprinter acquires after 60 meters and 110-150 meter for a 100 and 200-meter races respectively (velocity at the anaerobic threshold).

Sprint-training programs commit considerable time to help sprinter develop muscular strength. It is, however, difficult to predict athlete performance on a specific race because it’s not possible to differentiate or categorize the muscular strength generated by either concentric or eccentric.

From the discussion, it is clear that success in sprinting is a function of anaerobic and aerobic variables. The two variable enables the runner to maintain a rapid velocity all through the race. The contribution of the two variables depends on the distance and the physiological abilities of the sprinter. It is important to note that, the physiological factors mentioned in the paper, can be improved through training. Training is very important in enhancing enzymatic activity and muscular strength which are the key players in a sprinting activity. The factors are used to develop sprint-training programs. Also, the muscular power is closely related and proportional to anaerobic power. To sum it up, successful sprinting revolves about aerobic and anaerobic capabilities, effective biomechanical techniques, high-speed abilities and the ability to develop large amounts of force rapidly.

References

Billat, V., Sirvent, P., Lepretre, P.M. and Koralsztein, J.P., 2004. Training effect on performance, substrate balance and blood lactate concentration at maximal lactate steady state in master endurance-runners. Pflügers Archiv, 447(6), pp.875-883.

Bret, C., Messonnier, L., Nouck, J.N., Freund, H., Dufour, A.B. and Lacour, J.R., 2003. Differences in lactate exchange and removal abilities in athletes specialised in different track running events (100 to 1500 m). International Journal of Sports Medicine, 24(02), pp.108-113.

Faude, O., Kindermann, W. and Meyer, T., 2009. Lactate threshold concepts. Sports medicine, 39(6), pp.469-490.

Holm, P., Sattler, A. and Fregosi, R.F., 2004. Endurance training of respiratory muscles improves cycling performance in fit young cyclists. BMC Physiol, 4(9), pp.10-1186.

Midgley, A.W., McNaughton, L.R. and Jones, A.M., 2007. Training to enhance the physiological determinants of long-distance running performance. Sports Medicine, 37(10), pp.857-880.

Rabadán, M., Díaz*, V., Calderón, F.J., Benito, P.J., Peinado, A.B. and Maffulli, N., 2011. Physiological determinants of speciality of elite middle-and long-distance runners. Journal of sports sciences, 29(9), pp.975-982.

Saunders, P.U., Pyne, D.B., Telford, R.D. and Hawley, J.A., 2004. Factors affecting running economy in trained distance runners. Sports Medicine, 34(7), pp.465-485.

Sleivert, G. and Taingahue, M., 2004. The relationship between maximal jump-squat power and sprint acceleration in athletes. European journal of applied physiology, 91(1), pp.46-52.

Tjelta, L.I., 2016. The training of international level distance runners. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 11(1), pp.122-134.

Tjelta, L.I and Dyrstad, S.M., 2012. Relationship between velocity at anaerobic threshold and factors affecting velocity at anaerobic threshold in elite distance runners. International Journal of Applied Sports Sciences, 24(1), pp.8-17.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2020). Physiological Factors In Sprinting: Anaerobic And Aerobic Capabilities, Biomechanics, And Muscular Power. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ses3340-advance-sport-and-exercise-science01.

"Physiological Factors In Sprinting: Anaerobic And Aerobic Capabilities, Biomechanics, And Muscular Power." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ses3340-advance-sport-and-exercise-science01.

My Assignment Help (2020) Physiological Factors In Sprinting: Anaerobic And Aerobic Capabilities, Biomechanics, And Muscular Power [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ses3340-advance-sport-and-exercise-science01
[Accessed 29 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Physiological Factors In Sprinting: Anaerobic And Aerobic Capabilities, Biomechanics, And Muscular Power' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ses3340-advance-sport-and-exercise-science01> accessed 29 February 2024.

My Assignment Help. Physiological Factors In Sprinting: Anaerobic And Aerobic Capabilities, Biomechanics, And Muscular Power [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 29 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ses3340-advance-sport-and-exercise-science01.

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