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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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Beatriz Bachero-Mena, Miguel Sánchez-Moreno, Fernando Pareja-Blanco and Borja Sañudo

Purpose: To analyze the acute and short-term physical and metabolic responses to resisted sprint training with 5 different loading conditions (0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% body mass). Methods: Fifteen male participants performed 8 × 20-m sprints with 2-minute rests between sprints with 5 different loading conditions. Subjects performed a battery of tests (creatine kinase and lactate concentrations, countermovement jump, 20-m sprint, and isokinetic knee extension and flexion contractions) at 3 different time points (preexercise [PRE], postexercise [POST], and 24-h postexercise [POST24H]). Results: Results revealed significant increases in blood lactate for all loading conditions; however, as sled loadings increased, higher blood lactate concentrations and increments in sprint times during the training session were observed. Significant increases in creatine kinase concentration were observed from PRE to POST24H for all loading conditions. Concerning physical performance, significant decreases in countermovement-jump height from PRE to POST were found for all loading conditions. In addition, significant decreases in 20-m sprint performance from PRE to POST were observed for 0% (P = .05) and 80% (P = .02). No significant differences with PRE were observed for the physical-performance variables at POST24H, except for 20% load, which induced a significant decrease in mean power during knee flexion (P = .03). Conclusions: These results suggest that the higher the load used during resisted sprint training, the higher the physical-performance impairments and metabolic response produced, although all loading conditions led to a complete recovery of sprint performance at POST24H.

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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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Zied Abbes, Monoem Haddad, Khalid W. Bibi, Iñigo Mujika, Cyril Martin and Karim Chamari

Objectives: To investigate whether tethered swimming (TS) performed 8 minutes before a 50-m freestyle swimming sprint could be an effective postactivation potentiation method to improve performance in young swimmers. Methods: Fourteen regional-level male adolescent swimmers (age 13.0 [2.0] y; height 161.1 [12.4] cm; body mass 52.5 [9.5] kg) underwent 2 trial conditions in a randomized and counterbalanced order (1 experimental [TS], 1 control) on different days. During the experimental session, the participants performed a standard warm-up of 1200 m followed by a TS exercise, which consisted of 3 × 10-second maximal efforts of TS with 1-minute rests between bouts. In the control condition, the warm-up phase was immediately followed by 200 m at a moderate pace (same duration as the TS in the experimental session). Performance (time trial); biomechanical (stroke length), physiological (blood lactate concentrations), and psychophysiological (ratings of perceived exertion) variables; and countermovement-jump (CMJ) flight time were collected. Results: TS warm-up had no significant effect on 50-m swimming performance (P = .27), postexercise ratings of perceived exertion, stroke length, or CMJ flight time (P ≥ .05). Blood lactate concentrations significantly increased at the end of the warm-up in the TS condition only (interaction effect: F 1.91,29.91 = 4.91, P = .01, η 2 = .27) and after the 50-m trial in both conditions (F 1.57,20.41 = 62.39, P = .001, η 2 = .82). Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that 3 × 10-second TS exercises performed 8 minutes prior to the event did not affect ratings of perceived exertion, stroke length, or CMJ flight time. In addition, tethered swimming did not affect 50-m freestyle sprint performance in young swimmers.

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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.