Blood biochemical indices of iron status were measured in venous blood from 20 runners and 6 control subjects. All subjects were.male, ages 20 to 40 years, and stable with regard to body weight and degree of physical activity. Dietary analysis was undertaken using a 7-day weighed food intake. There was no evidence of iron deficiency: hemoglobin concentrations and serum femtin levels were within the normal population range for all individuals. However, serum ferritin was negatively correlated with the amount of training. Daily iron intake appeared to be adequate; iron intake was correlated with protein intake but not related to training or energy intake. Serum ferritin, an indicator of iron status, was significantly correlated with vitamin C intake but not iron intake. Serum transferrin concentration was higher in the group of athletes undertaking a high weekly training load compared with the control subjects, suggesting an alteration in iron metabolism although there was no evidence of increased erythropoiesis. The biological significance of this is unclear.
John D. Robertson, Ronald J. Maughan, Ann C. Milne, and Ronald J.L. Davidson
J.-M. John Wilson, D. Gordon E. Robertson, and J. Peter Stothart
In an effort to seek further understanding of lower limb muscle function in the rowing movement, an electromyographic analysis was undertaken of rowers rowing on a Gjessing ergometer. A strain gauged transducer was inserted in the ergometer linkage between handle and flywheel to detect pulling force. Electrodes were placed on the following lower limb muscles: gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior. Linear envelope electromyograms from each muscle and the force signals were sampled synchronously at 50 Hz. The results indicated that all six muscles were active from catch to finish of the drive phase. Biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, and vastus lateralis all began their activity at or just prior to catch and reached maximal excitation near peak force of the stroke. Rectus femoris and tibialis anterior activity began prior to the catch and reached maximal excitation subsequent to peak force. The coactivation of the five leg muscles, of which four were biarticular, included potentially antagonistic actions that would cancel each other’s effects. Clearly, however, other explanations must be considered. Both gastrocnemius and biceps femoris have been shown to act as knee extensors and may do so in the case of the rowing action. Furthermore, rectus femoris may act with unchanging length as a knee extensor by functioning as a rigid link between the pelvis and tibia. In this manner, energy created by the hip extensors is transferred across the knee joint via the isometrically contracting rectus femoris muscle.
Joel T. Fuller, Clint R. Bellenger, Dominic Thewlis, John Arnold, Rebecca L. Thomson, Margarita D. Tsiros, Eileen Y. Robertson, and Jonathan D. Buckley
Stride-to-stride fluctuations in running-stride interval display long-range correlations that break down in the presence of fatigue accumulated during an exhaustive run. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether long-range correlations in running-stride interval were reduced by fatigue accumulated during prolonged exposure to a high training load (functional overreaching) and were associated with decrements in performance caused by functional overreaching.
Ten trained male runners completed 7 d of light training (LT7), 14 d of heavy training (HT14) designed to induce a state of functional overreaching, and 10 d of light training (LT10) in a fixed order. Running-stride intervals and 5-km time-trial (5TT) performance were assessed after each training phase. The strength of long-range correlations in running-stride interval was assessed at 3 speeds (8, 10.5, and 13 km/h) using detrended fluctuation analysis.
Relative to performance post-LT7, time to complete the 5TT was increased after HT14 (+18 s; P < .05) and decreased after LT10 (–20 s; P = .03), but stride-interval long-range correlations remained unchanged at HT14 and LT10 (P > .50). Changes in stride-interval long-range correlations measured at a 10.5-km/h running speed were negatively associated with changes in 5TT performance (r –.46; P = .03).
Runners who were most affected by the prolonged exposure to high training load (as evidenced by greater reductions in 5TT performance) experienced the greatest reductions in stride-interval long-range correlations. Measurement of stride-interval long-range correlations may be useful for monitoring the effect of high training loads on athlete performance.