Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education, and Recreation


Dennis Dolny


Running injuries are common, usually causing athletes to cease or significantly reduce participation in a particular sport. The recent development of aquatic treadmills (ATM), an alternative to land treadmill (LTM) running, provides another option. This study sought to examine the metabolic (VO2) relationship between varying jet resistances and running speed on an ATM versus LTM. This was accomplished by developing two linear regression equations and a prediction equation. One linear regression represented the predicted VO2 from a given speed and jet resistance setting in the water, the other linear regression predicted VO2 on land from a given speed and the prediction equation was designed to match land speed to a VO2 score derived from ATM running conditions. This study examined experienced runners (N = 18). Each subject completed an initial VO2 peak test, three LTM trials, and 18 ATM trials. Each ATM trial consisted of running for three minutes at either a relatively slow, moderate, or somewhat fast speed while one of six ATM jet settings ranging from 0 to 100% jet capacity in 20% increments were assigned to the trial. Oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were measured during each trial while ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were solicited immediately following each trial. Resulting analysis produced an ATM linear regression for each jet resistance setting and a LTM linear regression equation of VO2 = 4.16 * speed + 7.39. A prediction equation for each jet resistance setting was then determined from the linear regression equations for both the ATM and LTM conditions. Results showed that at and between 0-40% jet resistances that there is not a marked difference in metabolic cost but from 40-100% jet resistances the VO2 is influenced more strongly. These results demonstrate that ATM metabolic costs are not only influenced by jet resistance settings but at jet resistances of 40% or greater provide an intensity of exercise that mimics running faster on LTM. This provides an added benefit for those individuals who may be limited due to acute overuse-type injuries or returning to full LTM activity following lower extremity surgery.


This work made publicly available electronically on May 11, 2012.