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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 189149, 11 pages
Review Article

Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Running Economy in Humans

Human Performance Laboratory, UNESP, Avenue 24 A, Bela Vista-Rio, 13506-900 Rio Claro, SP, Brazil

Received 18 December 2012; Accepted 18 January 2013

Academic Editors: L. Guimarães-Ferreira, H. Nicastro, J. Wilson, and N. E. Zanchi

Copyright © 2013 Cláudio de Oliveira Assumpção et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Running economy (RE), defined as the energy demand for a given velocity of submaximal running, has been identified as a critical factor of overall distance running performance. Plyometric and resistance trainings, performed during a relatively short period of time (~15–30 days), have been successfully used to improve RE in trained athletes. However, these exercise types, particularly when they are unaccustomed activities for the individuals, may cause delayed onset muscle soreness, swelling, and reduced muscle strength. Some studies have demonstrated that exercise-induced muscle damage has a negative impact on endurance running performance. Specifically, the muscular damage induced by an acute bout of downhill running has been shown to reduce RE during subsequent moderate and high-intensity exercise (>65% VO2max). However, strength exercise (i.e., jumps, isoinertial and isokinetic eccentric exercises) seems to impair RE only for subsequent high-intensity exercise (~90% VO2max). Finally, a single session of resistance exercise or downhill running (i.e., repeated bout effect) attenuates changes in indirect markers of muscle damage and blunts changes in RE.