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Erratum. Injury Prediction in Competitive Runners With Machine Learning

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

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Intensity Gradients: A Novel Method for Interpreting External Loads in Football

Ruairidh McGregor, Liam Anderson, Matthew Weston, Thomas Brownlee, and Barry Drust

Purpose: Global navigation satellite system device–derived metrics are commonly represented by discrete zones with intensity often measured by standardizing volume to per-minute of activity duration. This approach is sensitive to imprecision in duration measurement and can lead to highly variable outcomes—transforming data from zones to a gradient may overcome this problem. The purpose of this study was to critically evaluate this approach for measuring team-sport activity demands. Methods: Data were collected from 129 first-team and 73 academy matches from a Scottish Premiership football club. Gradients were calculated for velocity, acceleration, and deceleration zones, along with per-minute values for several commonly used metrics. Means and 95% CIs were calculated for playing level, as well as first-team positional groups. Within-subject coefficients of variation were also calculated for match level, position, and individual groups. Results: The gradient approach showed consistency with per-minute metrics when measuring playing level and position groups. With coefficients of variation of 10.8% to 26.9%, the gradients demonstrated lower variability than most per-minute variables, which ranged from 10.7% to 84.5%. Conclusions: Gradients are a potentially useful way of describing intensity in team sports and compare favorably to existing intensity variables in their ability to distinguish between match types and position groups, providing evidence that gradient variables can be used to monitor match and training intensity in team sports.

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Reliability and Validity of Predicted Performance in the Severe-Intensity Domain From the 3-Minute All-Out Running Test

Thierry Busso, Jaume Lloria-Varella, and Frederic Sabater-Pastor

Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze the reliability and validity of the predicted distance–time relationship in the severe-intensity domain from a 3-minute all-out running test (3MT). Methods: Twelve runners performed two 3MTs (test #1 and test #2) on an outdoor 400-m track after familiarization. Eighteen-hertz Global Positioning System data were used to estimate critical speed (CS) and distance covered above CS (D′). Time to cover 1200 and 3600 m (T1200 and T3600, respectively) was predicted using CS and D′ estimates from each 3MT. Eight runners performed 2 time trials in a single visit to assess real T1200 and T3600. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and standard errors of measurement were calculated for reliability analysis. Results: Good to excellent reliability was found for CS, T1200, and T3600 estimates from 3MT (ICC  > .95, standard error of measurement between 1.3% and 2.2%), and poor reliability was found for D′ (ICC = .55, standard error of measurement = 27%). Predictions from 3MT were significantly correlated to actual T1200 (r = .87 and .85 for test #1 and test #2, respectively) and T3600 (r = .91 and .82 for test #1 and test #2, respectively). The calculation of error prediction showed a systematic error between predicted and real T3600 (6.4% and 7.8% for test #1 and test #2, respectively, P < .01) contrary to T1200 (P > .1). Random error was between 4.4% and 6.1% for both distances. Conclusions: Despite low reliability of D′, 3MT yielded a reliable predicted distance–time relationship allowing repeated measures to evidence change with training adaptation. However, caution should be taken with prediction of performance potential of a single individual because of substantial random error and significant underestimation of T3600.

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Understanding the Kinematic Profile of 2 Underwater Pullout Breaststroke Techniques

Catarina C. Santos, Francisco A. Ferreira, Susana Soares, Ricardo J. Fernandes, João Paulo Vilas-Boas, and Mário J. Costa

Purpose: To compare the kinematic profile of 2 underwater pullout breaststroke techniques. Methods: Sixteen swimmers (9 men, 20.67 [2.71] y old; 7 women, 18.86 [0.83] y old) performed 3 × 25-m breaststroke using 2 pullout breaststroke techniques: Fly-Kick first and Combined. A speedometer was used to assess the peak and the mean velocity during the glide, propulsion, and recovery phases of both techniques, as well as for the total underwater sequence. The underwater distance was retrieved from video footage and was considered for each pullout technique. The range of motion of the knee during the fly-kick was also retrieved, and the time to complete the 25 m was considered the performance outcome, accompanied by the mean velocity, stroke rate, stroke length, and stroke index. Results: Velocity–time series showed different profiles between pullout techniques (P ≤ .05) mostly in the glide and propulsion phases for males and females, respectively. The mean velocity of 25 m was shown to be greater in females when using the Fly-Kick first technique (P = .05, d = 0.36). Greater values in total underwater distance and knee range of motion were also observed for this technique in both cohorts.  Conclusions: Female swimmers presented a higher performance when using the Fly-Kick first technique. Different kinematic profiles arise when swimmers use different underwater pullout techniques where the Fly-Kick first may allow them to reach higher kinematical standard.

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In Situ Power–Cadence Relationship for 2-, 5-, and 20-Minute Duration: A Proof of Concept in Under-19 Cyclists

Yann Bertron, Maximilien Bowen, Pierre Samozino, Peter Leo, Alexandre Pacot, Jean-Baptiste Quiclet, Frédérique Hintzy, and Baptiste Morel

Background: The force–velocity relationship suggests that maximal power (P max) can only be produced in optimal torque (T opt) and cadence (C opt). However, the cadence at which mean maximal power (MMP) is produced has never been studied. This study aimed to determine the individual MMP–cadence relationship from in situ data. Method: We analyzed 1 year of data from 14 under-19 cyclists and calculated the MMP for each cadence between 50 and 120 rpm for 2-, 5-, and 20-minute durations. The MMP–cadence relationship was fit with a second-order polynomial function. The goodness of fit (r 2) and odd-day–even-day absolute and relative reliability were evaluated, respectively, for P max, T opt, and C opt. Results: The goodness of fit was very high for every duration studied. T opt and P max, but not C opt, were significantly higher for shorter durations. P max was significantly correlated only with T opt for the 3 durations (r 2 = .63, .71, and .64 for 2, 5, and 20 min, respectively). Discussion: Evaluation of the MMP–cadence relationship from in situ data is feasible and reliable for 2-, 5-, and 20-minute durations. This profiling approach would enable better detection of the strengths and weaknesses of cyclists and make it possible to design more effective training interventions. Practical Applications: The analysis makes it possible to identify the torque versus cadence component that individually limits power production. Knowing the C opt for a given duration of maximal effort could help athletes choose the right gear ratio and regulate cadence during a race in order to maximize performance.

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Durability and Underlying Physiological Factors: How Do They Change Throughout a Cycling Season in Semiprofessional Cyclists?

Jens G. Voet, Robert P. Lamberts, Aitor Viribay, Jos J. de Koning, and Teun van Erp

Purpose: To investigate how cycling time-trial (TT) performance changes over a cycling season, both in a “fresh” state and in a “fatigued” state (durability). Additionally, the aim was to explore whether these changes are related to changes in underlying physiological factors such as gross efficiency, energy expenditure (EE), and substrate oxidation (fat oxidation [FatOx] and carbohydrate oxidation [CarbOx]). Methods: Sixteen male semiprofessional cyclists visited the laboratory on 3 occasions during a cycling season (PRE, START, and IN) and underwent a performance test in both fresh and fatigued states (after 38.1 [4.9] kJ/kg), containing a submaximal warm-up for the measurement of gross efficiency, EE, FatOx, and CarbOx and a maximal TT of 1 (TT1min) and 10 minutes (TT10min). Results were compared across states (fresh vs fatigued) and periods (PRE, START, and IN). Results: The average power output (PO) in TT1min decreased (P < .05) from fresh to fatigued state across all observed periods, whereas there was no change in the PO in TT10min. Over the course of the season, the PO in TT1min in the fatigued state improved more compared with the PO in TT1min in the fresh state. Furthermore, while EE did not significantly change, there was an increase in FatOx and a decrease in CarbOx toward the fatigued state. These changes diminished during the cycling season (IN), indicating a greater contribution of CarbOx in the fatigued state. Conclusions: TT1min performance is more sensitive to fatigue compared with TT10min. Also, during a cycling season, durability improves more when compared with fresh maximal POs, which is also observed in the changes in substrate oxidation.

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Relationship Between External Training Load and Session Rating of Perceived Exertion Training Impulse in Elite Sprinters

Matthew Thome, Sophia Nimphius, Matthew J. Jordan, and Robin T. Thorpe

Purpose: To quantify the change in session rating of perceived exertion training impulse (RPE-TRIMP) that may occur in response to increased running distance at 3 running velocity ranges in elite sprinters. Methods: We monitored training load in elite sprinters (women: n = 7; men: n = 11) using wearable Global Positioning System technology and RPE-TRIMP for a total of 681 individual training sessions during a 22-week competition-preparation period. Internal training load was operationalized by RPE-TRIMP, and external training load was operationalized by distance covered in 3 velocity ranges. A linear mixed-effects model with athlete as a random effect was fit to RPE-TRIMP with total distance covered at ≤69.99% (low-velocity running [LVR]), 70% to 84.99% (high-velocity running [HVR]), and 85% to 100% (very-high-velocity running [VHVR]) of individual maximum velocity. Results: Increased running distance in all 3 velocity ranges (LVR, HVR, and VHVR) resulted in a significant (P < .001) increase in RPE-TRIMP. Coefficients (95% CIs) were .10 (.08–.11) for LVR, .23 (.18–.28) for HVR, and .44 (.35–.53) for VHVR. A 50-m increase in running distance covered in the LVR, HVR, and VHVR velocity ranges was associated with increases in RPE-TRIMP of 5, 11.5, and 22 arbitrary units, respectively. Conclusions: Internal training load, calculated as RPE-TRIMP, increased with increases in total distance covered in the LVR, HVR, and VHVR velocity ranges (P < .001). RPE-TRIMP can be a practical solution for monitoring global training-session load in elite sprinters.

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Sex Differences in Self-Reported Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery Strategies Associated With Underperformance in Endurance Athletes

Aarón Agudo-Ortega, Rune Kjøsen Talsnes, Hanna Eid, Øyvind Sandbakk, and Guro Strøm Solli

Purpose: This study investigated sex differences in self-reported causes, symptoms, and recovery strategies associated with underperformance in endurance athletes. Methods: A total of 82 athletes (40 women) meeting the inclusion criteria (performance level ≥tier 3, used training diaries, and experienced 1 or more periods of underperformance during their career) completed an online questionnaire. The questionnaire encompassed inquiries regarding load monitoring and experiences with underperformance, focusing on causes, symptoms, and recovery strategies. Results: The most frequently reported symptoms associated with underperformance included psychological (31%), physiological (23%), and health-related (12%) symptoms. Notably, female athletes were more likely to report psychological symptoms associated with underperformance (38% vs 25%, P = .01) compared with male athletes. The leading causes of underperformance comprised illness (21%), mental/emotional challenges (20%), training errors (12%), lack of recovery (10%), and nutritional challenges (5%). Female athletes reported nutritional challenges more frequently as the cause of underperformance compared with males (9% vs 1%, P = .01), whereas male athletes more often attributed underperformance to training errors (15% vs 9%, P = .03). Overall, 67% of athletes reported recovering from underperformance, with a tendency for more male than female athletes to recover (76% vs 58%, P = .07). Furthermore, a higher proportion of male than female athletes reported implementing changes in the training process as a recovery strategy (62% vs 35%, P = .02). Conclusions: This study offers valuable insights into sex differences in experiences with underperformance in endurance athletes. The findings could inform coaches and athletes in both the prevention and treatment of such incidents.

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Single Session Intermittent Heat Exposure With More Frequent and Shorter Cooling Breaks Facilitates Greater Training Intensity and Elicits Physiological Responses Comparable to Continuous Heat Exposure

Julian A.P. Ramos, Kagan J. Ducker, Hugh Riddell, Grant Landers, Olivier Girard, and Carly J. Brade

Purpose: To investigate the influence of shorter, more frequent rest breaks with per-cooling as an alternative heat-acclimation session on physiological, perceptual, and self-paced maximal cycling performance, compared with continuous heat exposure. Methods: Thirteen participants completed 1 continuous and 3 intermittent-heat-exposure (IHE) maximal self-paced cycling protocols in a random order in heat (36 °C, 80% relative humidity): 1 × 60-minute exercise (CON), 3 × 20-minute exercise with 7.5-minute rest between sets (IHE-20), 4 × 15-minute exercise with 5-minute rest between sets (IHE-15), and 6 × 10-minute exercise with 3-minute rest between sets (IHE-10). Mixed-method per-cooling (crushed-ice ingestion and cooling vest) was applied during rest periods of all IHE protocols. Results: Total distance completed was greater in IHE-10, IHE-15, and IHE-20 than in CON (+11%, +9%, and +8%, respectively), with no difference observed between IHE protocols. Total time spent above 38.5 °C core temperature was longer in CON compared with IHE-15 and IHE-20 (+62% and +78%, respectively) but similar to IHE-10 (+5%). Furthermore, a longer time above 38.5 °C core temperature occurred in IHE-10 versus IHE-15 and IHE-20 (+54% and +69%, respectively). Sweat loss did not differ between conditions. Conclusion: IHE with per-cooling may be a viable alternative heat-acclimation protocol in situations where training quality takes precedence over thermal stimulus or when both factors hold equal priority.

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Physiological Profiles of Male and Female CrossFit Athletes

Gommaar D’Hulst, Deni Hodžić, Rahel Leuenberger, Janik Arnet, Elena Westerhuis, Ralf Roth, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss, Raphael Knaier, and Jonathan Wagner

Objective : To (1) establish extensive physiological profiles of highly trained CrossFit® athletes using gold-standard tests and (2) investigate which physiological markers best correlate with CrossFit Open performance. Methods : This study encompassed 60 participants (30 men and 30 women), all within the top 5% of the CrossFit Open, including 7 CrossFit semifinalists and 3 CrossFit Games finalists. Isokinetic dynamometers were employed to measure maximum isometric and isokinetic leg and trunk strength. Countermovement-jump height and maximum isometric midthigh-pull strength were assessed on a force plate. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was measured by a cardiopulmonary exercise test, and critical power and W′ were evaluated during a 3-minute all-out test, both on a cycle ergometer. Results: Male and female athletes’ median (interquartile range) VO2peak was 4.64 (4.43, 4.80) and 3.21 (3.10, 3.29) L·min−1, critical power 314.5 (285.9, 343.6) and 221.3 (200.9, 238.9) W, and midthigh pull 3158 (2690, 3462) and 2035 (1728, 2347) N. Linear-regression analysis showed strong evidence for associations between different anthropometric variables and CrossFit Open performance in men and women, whereas for markers of cardiorespiratory fitness such as VO2peak, this was only true for women but not men. Conventional laboratory evaluations of strength, however, manifested minimal evidence for associations with CrossFit Open performance across both sexes. Conclusions : This study provides the first detailed insights into the physiology of high-performing CrossFit athletes and informs training optimization. Furthermore, the results emphasize the advantage of athletes with shorter limbs and suggest potential modifications to CrossFit Open workout designs to level the playing field for athletes across different anthropometric characteristics.