CoolRunning Australia - The independent Australian website for runners by runners
Help make CoolRunning better!

Main menu

Site Info



Research Project on Running Performance

Research Project on Running Performance

August 2001
My name is Munir. I am a postgraduate student at The University of Sydney in The School of Exercise and Sport Science. I'm conducting a research project for my PhD examining the impact of relative humidity on running performance. At the moment I have tested ten subjects and is desperately needing few more to complete my study. The criterias of the subject in my project are; Well-trained middle/long distance runners, MALE, age between 18-40 years with clear bill of health.

Below is a copy of the subject information sheet which explains in detail regarding my study. I would appreciate if you can help me forward this info to the rest of your friends. Subjects will be compensated $50 after completing the project.

Benefits from this study include;

  1. Determination of your maximal aerobic capacity
  2. Determination of running economy/efficiency
  3. Thermal stress response data
  4. Body composition assessment
  5. Hydration status

I hope you will find this research intresting and hopefully be able to take part. Thank you for your time and cooperation.


Faculty of Health Sciences
School of Exercise and Sport Science,
East Street (P.O. Box 170), Lidcombe, NSW, Australia 2141


This study aims to determine cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses during exercise in warm-humid conditions and to prescribe a prescriptive zone for activities in warm-humid conditions. Research design of this study comprises three stages. The three stages are the pre test, six exercise tests in different humidity conditions and finally a post test.

The pre-test
The pre test is carried out to determine your current fitness level and also to confirm your healthy status. In the pre-test, you will engage in a submaximal running exercise followed by an active recovery phase and finishing with a maximal running exercise. During the submaximal pre-test exercise you will start to run on a treadmill at the speed of eleven kilometers/hour and the speed is increased by two kilometers/hour at every four minutes intervals for twelve minutes. The treadmill gradient is horizontal throughout the submaximal pre-test. After the twelve-minute, you will engage in an active recovery phase where you will walk for five minutes on a treadmill at the speed of five kilometers/hour. After completing the active recovery stage, you will then begin the maximal pre-test phase. In this phase, you will run at the speed of twelve kilometers/hour. The speed will remain constant during the maximal exercise pre-test and the gradient will be elevated by two percent every two minutes. You will engage in the maximal exercise until you have reached volitional fatigue. Thermoneutral conditions will be maintained during the pre-test (200 C, 40 %rH). Your resting electrocardiogram will be continuously monitored.

Warm and humid exercise test.
In this phase you will exercise in six different climatic conditions. You will visit the climate chamber once a week in six consecutive weeks. The exercise protocol for the warm and humid condition test is divided into four stages. The first stage is the resting stage where you will be sitting in the climate chamber for five minutes. After completing the resting stage, you will start the second stage, which requires sixty minutes of continuous sub-maximal exercise at a moderate intensity (70% of your VO2 max). After completing the submaximal exercise you will immediately start the maximal phase of the exercise where the gradient is increased by one degree every two minutes until you are unable to continue the exercise. The final stage is the recovery. In this stage you will be walking at a speed of 5km/hr for ten minutes. This will allow you to slowly reach your baseline stage.

During all of the warm and climatic exercise test, you will be asked to insert a rectal temperature probe temperature 12cm past the anal sphincter. The rectal temperature probe is contained within a thin plastic covering and supplied in a sterile sealed bag and disposable following the experiment. The rectal probe will remain in place throughout the test to monitor your internal temperature. You will also have four thin wires attached to four different sites of your body to measure skin temperature. The sites are the chest area, arm, thigh and calf.

During two trials (condition 1 and 6), a small indwelling catheter will be placed in a superficial vein on the back of the hand and a tubing is attached to collect small (15 ml) blood samples at rest, 10, 30 & 60 minutes during exercise and at exhaustion.

The Post test
The post test will be carried out after you have completed pre test and the entire warm and humid conditions exercise test. The protocol for this test is the same as the pre test protocol.

In the three stages of this study (pre, warm-humid and post) you will be required to wear a mouthpiece and breathe into a low resistance respiratory valve that is connected to a mass spectrometer where an expired gas analysis will be performed. Immediately following each expired gas analysis, rebreathing procedure will be performed where you will be required to breath an appropriate volume and concentration of CO2 and O2 from a five liter rubber bag with breath by breath analysis. This is carried out to indirectly determine cardiac output. These measurements will be taken at the same time blood is drawn. Measurements of heart rate will be monitored continuously throughout the three stages of this study.

Risk and discomfort.
The risks involved in this study relate to the invasive procedures including rectal temperature probes and indwelling venous catheters and the risk of exercising in hot conditions which can cause heat injury. All due care and attention to safety procedures will be followed throughout the study to minimize any risk to subjects. The use of rectal temperature probe inserted 12 cm past the anal sphincter is a widely used procedure with no likelihood of damage to internal structures and is of minimal discomfort. Disposable rectal probes will be used for each subject throughout the study to control cross infection. Indwelling venous catheters will be introduced into a superficial dorsal vein by an experienced venepuncturist using standard aseptic procedures and while this procedure involves an element of risk, the risk is considered very small. As a benefit from this study your aerobic capacity and tolerance to heat will be determined. Also after completion of this research you will be informed about findings and their implications.

The total duration of this research project is eight weeks. You are reminded to visit the climatic chamber for eight different trials (1 pre-test, 6 warm-humid tests, 1 post-test) over the eight weeks period. Each trial performed must be one week apart to give sufficient rest and to avoid acclimatization.

You should understand that your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may withdraw from any or all parts of the study without penalty, at any time. You may be withdrawn from any or all parts of this study by the researcher if you are unable to attend experimental procedures, or if further participation would be unhealthy for you.

If you have any questions or problems with this study, please contact Assoc. Prof. Martin Thompson at 9351 9460 or Ahmad Munir Che Muhamed at 9351 9077(o) or 9427 8235(h) or 04 15 700 678.

This study is conducted with the approval of the University of Sydney Human Ethics Committee. Any person with concerns or complaints about the conduct of a research study can contact the Manager of Ethics and Biosafety Administration, University of Sydney, on (02) 9351 4811.


1Under Water Weighing & Medical Screening & Running Performance Test
2First Warm-humid Test
3Second Warm-Humid Test
4Third Warm-Humid Test
5Fourth Warm-Humid Test
6Fifth Warm-Humid Test
7Sixth Warm-Humid Test
8Post Running Economy Test.

This page last updated: Saturday 20 March 2010

Back to CoolRunning home page
Click here for CoolRunning Homepage

CoolRunning : The original and best aussie site for runners by runners