The Aerobic And Anaerobic Capacities Of An Elite Soccer Player, An Elite Middle/Long Distance Runner, And An Elite 100m Sprinter

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When considering an elite 100m sprinter's anaerobic capacities, the success of the athlete is dependent mainly on their alactic and lactic anaerobic metabolism (Legaz-Arrese, 2007) . The source of fuel sprinters use is the ATP/PC energy system (, 2015); this is due to the duration of the event not lasting long and ATP only lasts 8-12 seconds.

In comparison, a long distance runner of 42km uses the aerobic energy system (, 2015) due to it being very efficient in producing ATP. This system produces ATP continuously as the fuel for this system are carbohydrates and fats, which can be replenished quickly making it beneficial for long distance runners.

In relation to a soccer player where they are known to run up to 10km per game (REFERENCE) they use both the anaerobic ATP/PC and aerobic energy systems (, 2015). This is due to the short fast outbursts needed when playing the sport alongside the continuous slow phases of running. By using both these systems allows for optimal performance over the 90 minutes.

When comparing the aerobic capacities of all three elite athletes it was found that long distance runner had the highest VO2max of 80.1, this was closely followed by VO2max of a soccer player 77.1. It’s known the average oxygen uptake during soccer match play is estimated to be 77-80% (Datson et al., 2014). The range in VO2max for soccer players was found to be because the higher the standard of play the higher VO2max (Haugen, 2014). The 100m sprinter had the lowest VO2max of 61.9 due to them only requiring a small amount of oxygen for their event. The differences in these VO2 max results is because of the different time variations of their sports and how much oxygen they need to complete their event.

Compare and contrast the lower limb strength and alactic power of an elite soccer player, an elite middle/long distance runner, and an elite 100m sprinter.

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In all of these sports lower limb strength and alactic power are quite important aspects for the individual. Countermovement jump is a test that measures lower limb strength and soccer players use as they jump on average 15.5 times, partaking in nine headers a match (Bangsbo, 1994). The best performances were obtained by the post pubertal highly-trained soccer players (Quagliarella L, 2011) allowing for more powerful jumps and sprints during the game (Wisloff et al., 1998). Depending on the stages of the competitive season the vertical jump performances of soccer players was stable (Thomas & Reilly 1979). It has been shown that it is the level of maximal strength and the rate of force development that influence both jump height and sprint performance (Hoff et al., 2001; Schmidtbleicher, 1992).

In regards to sprinters there is a relationship between leg power and sprint ability from the use of vertical jumps (Bret et al., 2002; Kukolj et al., 1999; Mero et al., 1983; Nesser et al., 1996). As sprinters need to propel themselves off the blocks they need the lower limb strength and it has shown to have a strong correlation of r = -0.88 between sprint performance and their countermovement jumps (Liebermann and Katz, 2003, Young et al., 1995). The force and power measures from vertical jump tests performed by sprinters revealed to show the best sprint time. This signals the importance of power production from the leg muscles in sprint performance. Through evidence it shows that explosive leg power in the countermovement jump is a key aspect of sprint performance, especially in the early acceleration phase off the blocks/at start.

Long distance runners have been found to be limited not only by physiological factors, but also by muscle power factors. Therefore strength and power training have been beneficial in increasing rapid force production and helps increase running speed in long distance events (Dellagrana RA, Santos and Guglielmo, 2015). Countermovement and vertical jumps can help with the building of the lower limb strength and alactic power which is important for the start and endurance part of the running event. Strength training allows for three main goals for runners to achieve. It prevents injuries by strengthening muscles, improves neuromuscular coordination and power and improves stride efficiency (The Runner’s World, 2018).

Based on a student’s results from conducting tests of aerobic, anaerobic and musculoskeletal fitness (below), which of the three sports above do you think they would be best suited to? Justify your answer with reference to appropriate literature

From looking at Joe Soap’s results, he would be best suited to the sport of soccer. He would suit the forward position on the field as they are of smaller size and lower mass which seen in his scores related to that. This can work to his advantage as he can move more skillfully and efficiently over larger distances (Rebelo, 2012). Joe’s result in the VO2max is above average and by having a well-developed aerobic fitness helps him maintain high intensity actions, accelerate his recovery process and maintain his physical condition during the entire game (Stolen et al., 2005). In regards to Joe’s lower limb strength and alactic power his wingate score of 11.3 reflects an excellent classification. This is beneficial in soccer when he makes small breaks or has short bursts of sprinting to do. His high concentric knee extension result of 200 shows his leg is able to exceed 90 degrees so he is able to get the follow through and force needed to perform a good kick.

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The Aerobic And Anaerobic Capacities Of An Elite Soccer Player, An Elite Middle/Long Distance Runner, And An Elite 100m Sprinter. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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