Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Sport Physiology and Performance

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael H. Stone

Committee Members

Brad H. DeWeese, Bent Rønnestad, Kimitake Sato


The objective of this dissertation was to evaluate the changes in preparedness over the course of training for a marathon in two well-trained runners. The athletes completed periodized strength training or a periodized concurrent training. This dissertation consisted of two separate investigations:

Study 1 – The purpose of this study was to monitor changes in force production ability and running performance in one sub-elite marathon runner before, during, and after undertaking a short-term block periodized strength training program. The athlete ceased strength training during the off-seasons and resumed testing after 10. The athlete experienced likely true, meaningful changes in force production characteristics during the taper after the training program. Improvements in force production characteristics coincided with improvements in running economy. Both force production characteristics and running economy reversed after the withdraw from strength training. However, both measures remained improved from initial baseline. The improvement in running economy and force production likely coincided with a cardiovascular de-training period, due to a reduction in aerobic training during the off-season. Therefore, strength training may have independent effects on running economy and running performance. These results indicate that endurance runners may better optimize performance by improving force production characteristics via periodized strength training program, and should avoid prolonged periods without strength training.

Study 2 – The purpose of this study was to monitor the concurrent and divergent changes in athlete preparedness and performance over a competitive training cycle in two marathon athletes. One athlete added a block periodized strength training program to a non-periodized endurance training program (NBP Athlete). The other athlete (BP Athlete) completed an integrated, concurrent block periodized program using HIT over-reach endurance training. Both athlete displayed improvements in running performance and running economy over the duration of the monitoring program. The BP Athlete displayed earlier and greater magnitudes of performance improvements. These results indicate that strength training can enhance running economy in marathon athletes, performance may be better optimized through periodized integration of strength and endurance training, and the use of HIT over-reach blocks may improve marathon relevant fitness characteristic within the ecologically valid context of an athlete’s training cycle.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.