Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Exercise Science

First Advisor

Dr. Stuart Best


Commercial running power (RP) meters may provide endurance runners and coaches with improved precision for monitoring running intensity. Cyclists rely upon the relationship between cycling power and metabolic demand to regulate physiological intensity during training and racing, independent of changes in the physical environment (e.g., terrain, wind). Research demonstrates strong reliability and validity for a specific RP meter to indicate metabolic demand within controlled running conditions. However, several potential influences on this relationship have not been investigated. Therefore, four studies were conducted with the following aims:

- Study 1: Determine the inter-limb reliability and validity of a single-limb-based RP meter to indicate metabolic demand.

- Study 2: Determine the influence of economy-enhancing running shoes on the relationship between RP and metabolic demand.

- Study 3: Determine the influence of runner performance level on the relationship between RP and metabolic demand.

- Study 4: Examine the relationship between running critical power (CP) and critical speed (CS) across runner performance levels.

Studies 1, 2, and 3 examined the influence of limb measured (1), shoe type (2), and runner performance level (3) during multi-stage submaximal treadmill running tests. During the tests, RP, using a commercial RP meter, and metabolic demand, through respiratory gas analysis, were measured continuously. Linear models identified the relationship between RP and metabolic workload during each running test and the effect of limb, shoe type, and runner level on the relationship. Results of study 1 showed that the strong linear relationship found in previous studies was also independent of the limb measured. Further, the inter-limb reliability of the RP meter was very high and no significant inter-limb RP differences existed. Study 2 showed that within each shoe type, RP strongly correlated to metabolic demand, but that the absolute relationship can vary between shoes. Study 3 results suggested that at faster speeds (>10km·hr-1) metabolic demand for a given RP might vary between runner performance levels, but significant differences were not observed at the slower speeds tested (<10km·hr-1). Lastly, study 4 had well-trained runners and physically active adults perform 4 maximal effort treadmill runs lasting 3-12 minutes while measuring RP with the commercial RP meter. CS and CP were determined using linear-distance and linear-work models, respectively. Study 4 determined that running CP was strongly related to CS independent of runner performance level and that similar intensities relative to fitness level can determine CP across performance levels. It was therefore concluded from these studies that, at least under controlled running conditions, this RP meter closely reflected metabolic demand, especially within individual runners. However, aspects that significantly influence running economy may also influence the absolute RP-metabolic demand relationship and need to be considered by researchers, coaches, and runners.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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