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Sandra C. Webber, Francine Hahn, Lisa M. Lix, Brenda J. Tittlemier, Nancy M. Salbach and Ruth Barclay

Objective: To determine the optimal threshold, based on cadence and lifestyle counts per minute, to detect outdoor walking in mobility-limited older adults. Methods: Older adults (N = 25, median age: 77.0 years, interquartile range: 10.5) wore activity monitors during 80 outdoor walks. Walking bouts were identified manually (reference standard) and compared with identification using cadence thresholds (≥30, ≥35, ≥40, ≥45, and ≥50 steps/min) and >760 counts per minute using low frequency extension analysis. Results: Median walking bout duration was 10.5 min (interquartile range 4.8) and median outdoor walking speed was 0.70 m/s (interquartile range 0.20). Cadence thresholds of ≥30, ≥35, and ≥40 steps/min demonstrated high sensitivity (1.0, 95% confidence intervals [0.95, 1.0]) to detect walking bouts; estimates for specificity and positive predictive value were highest for ≥40 steps/min. Conclusion: A cadence threshold of ≥40 steps/min is recommended for detecting sustained outdoor walking in this population.

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Jose Ignacio Priego-Quesada, Alejandro Pérez-Guarner, Alexis Gandia-Soriano, Fran Oficial-Casado, Carlos Galindo, Rosa M. Cibrián Ortiz de Anda, José David Piñeiro-Ramos, Ángel Sánchez-Illana, Julia Kuligowski, Marco A. Gomes Barbosa, Máximo Vento and Rosario Salvador Palmer

Context: Although skin-temperature assessment has received much attention in recent years as a possible internal-load measurement, scientific evidence is scarce. Purpose: To analyze baseline skin temperature and its rewarming through means of a cold-stress test before and after performing a marathon and to study the association between skin temperature and internal/external-load measurements. Methods: A total of 16 runners were measured 48 and 24 h before and 24 and 48 h after completing a marathon. The measurements on each day of testing included urine biomarkers of oxidative stress, pain and fatigue perception, skin temperature (at baseline and after a cold-stress test), and jump performance. Results: Reduced jump performance (P < .01 and effect size [ES] = 0.5) and higher fatigue and pain perception were observed 24 h after the marathon (P < .01 and ES > 0.8). Although no differences in baseline skin temperature were observed between the 4 measuring days, posterior legs presented lower constant (P < .01 and ES = 1.4) and higher slope (P = .04 and ES = 1.1) parameters in the algorithmic equations fitted for skin-temperature recovery after the cold-stress test 24 h after the marathon than on the day before the marathon. Regressions showed that skin-temperature parameters could be predicted by the ratio of ortho-tyrosine isomer to phenylalanine (oxidative stress biomarker) and body fat composition, among others. Conclusions: Although baseline skin temperature was not altered 24 or 48 h after a marathon, the application of cold stress after the marathon would appear to be a good method for providing information on vasoconstriction and a runner’s state of stress.

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Ashley B. West, Adam R. Konopka, Kelli A. LeBreton, Benjamin F. Miller, Karyn L. Hamilton and Heather J. Leach

This study examined the feasibility and effects of a 1-hr physical activity (PA) behavior change (PABC) discussion session on PA, 12 weeks after completing an exercise trial. Adults at high risk of Type II diabetes were randomized to the PABC or a control group. PA was self-reported using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Chi-square tests compared the proportion of participants classified as moderately active or greater at the 12-week follow-up. Participants (N = 50) were M = 61.8 ± 5.5 years old and mostly female (80%). All participants completed the PABC discussion session, and compliance with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire at 12-week follow-up was 78%. Barrier self-efficacy increased immediately following the PABC (MΔ0.5 ± 0.9; t(22) = −2.45, p = .023). At 12-week follow-up, 88% in the PABC were moderately active or greater, compared with 50% in the control (p = .015). Incorporating a PABC discussion session as part of an exercise efficacy trial was feasible and may help improve PA maintenance.

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Philip Hurst, Samantha Saunders and Damian Coleman

The authors examine the effect of an acute dose of beetroot juice on endurance running performance in “real-world” competitive settings. In total, 70 recreational runners (mean ± SD: age = 33.3 ± 12.3 years, training history = 11.9 ± 8.1 years, and hours per week training = 5.9 ± 3.5) completed a quasi-randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 5-km competitive time trials. Participants performed four trials separated by 1 week in the order of prebaseline, two experimental, and one postbaseline. Experimental trials consisted of the administration of 70-ml nitrate-rich beetroot juice (containing ∼4.1 mmol of nitrate, Beet It Sport®) or nitrate-depleted placebo (containing ∼0.04 mmol of nitrate, Beet It Sport®) 2.5 hr prior to time trials. Time to complete 5 km was recorded for each trial. No differences were shown between pre- and postbaseline (p = .128, coefficient variation = 2.66%). The average of these two trials is therefore used as baseline. Compared with baseline, participants ran faster with beetroot juice (mean differences = 22.2 ± 5.0 s, p < .001, d = 0.08) and placebo (22.9 ± 4.5 s, p < .001, d = 0.09). No differences in times were shown between beetroot juice and placebo (0.8 ± 5.7 s, p < .875, d = 0.00). These results indicate that an acute dose of beetroot juice does not improve competitive 5-km time-trial performance in recreational runners compared with placebo.

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Rianne Costello, Mark E.T. Willems, Stephen D. Myers, Fiona Myers, Nathan A. Lewis, Ben J. Lee and Sam D. Blacker

New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) contains anthocyanins, known to moderate blood flow and display anti-inflammatory properties that may improve recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. The authors examined whether NZBC extract supplementation enhances recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage after a half-marathon race. Following a randomized, double-blind, independent groups design, 20 (eight women) recreational runners (age 30 ± 6 years, height 1.73 ± 0.74 m, body mass 68.5 ± 7.8 kg, half-marathon finishing time 1:56:33 ± 0:18:08 hr:min:s) ingested either two 300-mg/day capsules of NZBC extract (CurraNZ) or a visually matched placebo, for 7 days prior to and 2 days following a half-marathon. Countermovement jump performance variables, urine interleukin-6, and perceived muscle soreness and fatigue were measured pre, post, and at 24 and 48 hr after the half-marathon and analyzed using a mixed linear model with statistical significance set a priori at p < .05. The countermovement jump performance variables were reduced immediately post-half-marathon (p < .05), with all returning to pre-half-marathon levels by 48 hr, except the concentric and eccentric peak force and eccentric duration, with no difference in response between groups (p > .05). Urine interleukin-6 increased 48-hr post-half-marathon in the NZBC group only (p < .01) and remained unchanged compared with pre-half-marathon levels in the placebo group (p > .05). Perceived muscle soreness and fatigue increased immediately post-half-marathon (p < .01) and returned to pre-half-marathon levels by 48 hr, with no difference between groups (p > .05). Supplementation with NZBC extract had no effect on the recovery of countermovement jump variables and perceptions of muscle soreness or fatigue following a half-marathon in recreational runners.

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Carlo Castagna, Stefano D’Ottavio, Paolo Roberto Gabrielli and Susana Póvoas

Purpose: To profile sprint endurance performance of elite-level female soccer players. Methods: Twenty-five female national-team soccer players (age 25.1 [2.7] y, body mass 59.6 [3.6] kg, height 168.5 [4.1] cm) were tested for sprint endurance, performing 5 maximal sprints, interspersed with 30 seconds of active recovery (5 × 30 m) and a 30-second all-out shuttle run in a soccer pitch. The Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIR1) evaluated intermittent high-intensity endurance under the same field-testing conditions. Maximal anaerobic capacity was assessed while participants performed three 10-second all-out bouts separated by 20 seconds of passive recovery (3 × 10 s) on a nonmotorized treadmill. Results: Huge interplayer variability was observed for sprint decrements in 3 × 10 seconds (coefficient of variation = 37%) and 5 × 30 m (coefficient of variation = 62%). The 3 × 10 performance was largely associated with 5 × 30-m mean and best time and very largely with 30 seconds. A very large and nearly perfect correlation was observed between 30 seconds and 5 × 30 mMean (r = −.86) and 5 × 30 mBest (r = −.92), respectively. The YYIR1 was moderately to largely associated with 5 × 30-m variables and 30 seconds, respectively. A nearly perfect association was observed between 5 × 30 mBest and 5 × 30 mMean (r = .97). Conclusions: Elite female soccer players’ sprint endurance variables are characterized by remarkable variability. Associations between sprint endurance variables suggest physiological interdependence and a likelihood of a general ability in sustaining sprinting in this population.

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Harry E. Routledge, Stuart Graham, Rocco Di Michele, Darren Burgess, Robert M. Erskine, Graeme L. Close and James P. Morton

The authors aimed to quantify (a) the periodization of physical loading and daily carbohydrate (CHO) intake across an in-season weekly microcycle of Australian Football and (b) the quantity and source of CHO consumed during game play and training. Physical loading (via global positioning system technology) and daily CHO intake (via a combination of 24-hr recall, food diaries, and remote food photographic method) were assessed in 42 professional male players during two weekly microcycles comprising a home and away fixture. The players also reported the source and quantity of CHO consumed during all games (n = 22 games) and on the training session completed 4 days before each game (n = 22 sessions). The total distance was greater (p < .05) on game day (GD; 13 km) versus all training days. The total distance differed between training days, where GD-2 (8 km) was higher than GD-1, GD-3, and GD-4 (3.5, 0, and 7 km, respectively). The daily CHO intake was also different between training days, with reported intakes of 1.8, 1.4, 2.5, and 4.5 g/kg body mass on GD-4, GD-3, GD-2, and GD-1, respectively. The CHO intake was greater (p < .05) during games (59 ± 19 g) compared with training (1 ± 1 g), where in the former, 75% of the CHO consumed was from fluids as opposed to gels. Although the data suggest that Australian Football players practice elements of CHO periodization, the low absolute CHO intakes likely represent considerable underreporting in this population. Even when accounting for potential underreporting, the data also suggest Australian Football players underconsume CHO in relation to the physical demands of training and competition.