Athletes often seek the minimum required time that might elicit a physiological or performance change. It is reasonable to suggest that heat training may improve aerobic-based performance in mild conditions. Therefore, rather than providing a traditional heat-exposure stimulus (ie, 7–10 × 60–100 min sessions), the current article details 2 studies that aimed to determine the effect of brief (≤240 min exposure) heat training on the second lactate threshold (LT2) in mild conditions.
Forty-one participants completed 5 (study 1, n = 18) or 4 (study 2, n = 23) perceptually regulated treadmill exercise training sessions in 35°C and 30% relative humidity (RH) (experimental group) or 19°C and 30% RH (control group). Preincremental and postincremental exercise testing occurred in mild conditions (19°C and 30% RH). Linear mixed-effects models analyzed the change in LT2.
Heat training did not substantially change LT2 in either study 1 (+1.2%, d = 0.38, P = .248) or study 2 (+1.9%, d = 0.42, P = .163). LT2 was not substantially changed in the control group in study 1 (+1.3%, d = 0.43, P = .193), but a within-group change was evident in study 2 (+2.3%, d = 1.04, P = .001).
Brief heat training was inadequate to improve the speed at LT2 in mild conditions more than comparable training in mild conditions. The brief nature of the heattraining protocol did not allow adaptations to develop to the extent required to potentially confer a performance advantage in an environment that is less thermally stressful than the training conditions.