Thursday, 27 March 2014

A One-Year Study of Endurance Runners: Training, Laboratory and Field Tests

I have been away form the blog for few months now. The move to Qatar has meant adjusting to life in the desert and learning a lot new relevant aspects of my new job. There are so many things to learn and too many things to do. Sadly the time to update the blog has been less than expected. Abandoning Windos for Mac has also not helped, as I am still trying to find a good software solution to be able to blog more often (if you have suggestions, feel free to email them!). 

Anyway, I want to share the news that finally this paper has been published. This was the result of a lot of hard work from Dr. Andy Galbraith and a collaboration with Professor Louis Passfield's group at University of Kent to make sure we made the most out of the data gathered in the study. Hopefully more data of this study will be published in the future.

Here is the abstract:

A One-Year Study of Endurance Runners: Training, Laboratory and Field Tests

Section: Original Investigation
Authors: Andy Galbraith1, James Hopker1, Marco Cardinale2,3,4, Brian Cunniffe3 and Louis Passfield1
Affiliations: 1Endurance Research Group, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent, Chatham Maritime, United Kingdom. 2Aspire Academy, Doha, Qatar. Department of Computer Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom. School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.
Acceptance Date: March 18, 2014
 This longitudinal study examined the training and concomitant changes in laboratory and field-test performance of highly trained endurance runners. Methods: Fourteen highly trained male endurance runners (mean ± SD: VO2max 69.8 ± 6.3mL·kg-1·min-1) completed this 1-year training study commencing in April. During the study the runners undertook 5 laboratory tests of VO2max, lactate threshold (LT) and running economy, and 9 field tests to determine critical speed (CS) and the modelled maximum distance performed above CS (D’). The data for different periods of the year were compared using repeated measures ANOVA. The influence of training on laboratory and field test changes was analysed by multiple regression.Results: Total training distance varied during the year, and was lower in May-July (333km [SD: ± 206km], P=0.01) and July-August (339km [SD: ± 206km], P=0.02) than in the subsequent January-February period (474km [SD: ± 188km]). VO2max increased from the April baseline (4.7L·min-1 [SD: ± 0.4L·min-1]) in October and January periods (5.0L·min-1 [SD: ± 0.4L·min-1], P<0.01). Other laboratory measures did not change. Runners’ CS was lowest in August (4.90m·s-1 [SD: ± 0.32m·s-1]) and highest in February (4.99m·s-1 [SD: ± 0.30m·s-1], P=0.02). Total training distance and the percentage of training time spent above LT velocity explained 33% of the variation in CS. Conclusion: Highly trained endurance runners achieve small but significant changes in VO2max and CS in a year. Increases in training distance and time above LT velocity were related to increases in CS.
Keywords: VO2max, critical speed, distance running, endurance, performance changes


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