Abstract: In this study, we sought to compare force-velocity relationships developed from unloaded sprinting acceleration to that compiled from multiple sled-resisted sprints.
Twenty-seven mixed-code athletes performed six to seven maximal sprints, unloaded and towing a sled (20-120% of body-mass), while measured using a sports radar. Two methods were used to draw force-velocity relationships for each athlete: A multiple trial method compiling kinetic data using pre-determined friction coefficients and aerodynamic drag at maximum velocity from each sprint; and a validated single trial method plotting external force due to acceleration and aerodynamic drag and velocity throughout an acceleration phase of an unloaded sprint (only). Maximal theoretical force, velocity and power were determined from each force-velocity relationship and compared using regression analysis and absolute bias (± 90% confidence intervals), Pearson correlations and typical error of the estimate (TEE).
The average bias between the methods was between - 6.4 and - 0.4%. Power and maximal force showed strong correlations (r = 0.71 to 0.86), but large error (TEE = 0.53 to 0.71). Theoretical maximal velocity was nearly identical between the methods (r = 0.99), with little bias (- 0.04 to 0.00 m s-1) and error (TEE = 0.12).
When horizontal force or power output is considered for a given speed, resisted sprinting is similar to its associated phase during an unloaded sprint acceleration [e.g. first steps (~ 3 m s-1) = heavy resistance]. Error associated with increasing loading could be resultant of error, fatigue, or technique, and more research is needed. This research provides a basis for simplified assessment of optimal loading from a single unloaded sprint.
Cross, MR, Samozino, P, Bvrown SR, and Morin, JB. 2018. A comparison between the force-velocity relationships of unloaded and sled-resisted sprinting: single vs. multiple trial methods. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018 Mar;118(3):563-571.