Running Economy Testing

Running economy (RE) is the energy required to run at moderate running speeds – this is assessed by measuring oxygen uptake. The lower the energy required (so lower oxygen uptake) to run at a particular speed, the better your running economy and the more efficient you are. It is a useful test to undertake at the beginning and end of a training cycle to gauge improvement.

This test involves running at three-five different treadmill running speeds each lasting around 4 minutes. You will wear a mask over your nose and mouth throughout the test to allow respiration to be measured.

Factors that may influence running economy include a combination of genetics (e.g. physique, muscle fibre types), running mechanics (e.g. technique – running kinematics, stride length, arm movement), physiological factors (e.g. flexibility), training factors (e.g. inclusion of strength/plyometric training) and even shoe type.

Running economy test on a treadmill