Superior Physiological Adaptations After a Microcycle of Short Intervals Versus Long Intervals in Cyclists

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To compare the effects of a 1-week high-intensity aerobic-training shock microcycle composed of either 5 short-interval sessions (SI; n = 9, 5 series with 12 × 30-s work intervals interspersed with 15-s recovery and 3-min recovery between series) or 5 long-interval sessions (LI; n = 8, 6 series of 5-min work intervals with 2.5-min recovery between series) on indicators of endurance performance in well-trained cyclists. Methods: Before and following 6 days with standardized training loads after the 1-week high-intensity aerobic-training shock microcycle, both groups were tested in physiological determinants of endurance performance. Results: From pretraining to posttraining, SI achieved a larger improvement than LI in maximal oxygen uptake (5.7%; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–10.3; P = .015) and power output at a blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol·L−1 (3.8%; 95% confidence interval, 0.2–7.4; P = .038). There were no group differences in changes of fractional use of maximal oxygen uptake at a workload corresponding to a blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol·L−1, gross efficiency, or the 1-minute peak power output from the maximal-oxygen-uptake test. Conclusion: The SI protocol may induce superior changes in indicators of endurance performance compared with the LI protocol, indicating that SI can be a good strategy during a 1-week high-intensity aerobic-training shock microcycle in well-trained cyclists.

Rønnestad, Øfsteng, and Hammarström are with the Section for Health and Exercise Physiology, Inst of Public Health and Sport Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer, Norway. Zambolin is with the Dept of Medicine (DIMED), University of Padova, Padova, Italy. Raastad is with the Dept of Physical Performance, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.

Rønnestad (bent.ronnestad@inn.no) is corresponding author.
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