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Rachel McCormick, Brian Dawson, Marc Sim, Leanne Lester, Carmel Goodman, and Peter Peeling

The authors compared the effectiveness of two modes of daily iron supplementation in athletes with suboptimal iron stores: oral iron (PILL) versus transdermal iron (PATCH). Endurance-trained runners (nine males and 20 females), with serum ferritin concentrations <50 μg/L, supplemented with oral iron or iron patches for 8 weeks, in a parallel group study design. Serum ferritin was measured at baseline and fortnightly intervals. Hemoglobin mass and maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max) were measured preintervention and postintervention in PATCH. A linear mixed effects model was used to assess the effectiveness of each mode of supplementation on sFer. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to assess hemoglobin mass and V˙O2max outcomes in PATCH. There was a significant time effect (p < .001), sex effect (p = .013), and Time × Group interaction (p = .009) for sFer. At Week 6, PILL had significantly greater sFer compared with PATCH (15.27 μg/L greater in PILL; p = .019). Serum ferritin was 15.53 μg/L greater overall in males compared with females (p = .013). There were no significant differences in hemoglobin mass (p = .727) or V˙O2max (p = .929) preintervention to postintervention in PATCH. Finally, there were six complaints of severe gastrointestinal side effects in PILL and none in PATCH. Therefore, this study concluded that PILL effectively increased sFer in athletes with suboptimal iron stores, whereas PATCH showed no beneficial effects.

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Rachel McCormick, Alex Dreyer, Brian Dawson, Marc Sim, Leanne Lester, Carmel Goodman, and Peter Peeling

The authors compared the effectiveness of daily (DAY) versus alternate day (ALT) oral iron supplementation in athletes with suboptimal iron. Endurance-trained runners (nine males and 22 females), with serum ferritin (sFer) concentrations <50 μg/L, supplemented with oral iron either DAY or ALT for 8 weeks. Serum ferritin was measured at baseline and at fortnightly intervals. Hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) was measured pre- and postintervention in a participant subset (n = 10). Linear mixed-effects models were used to assess the effectiveness of the two strategies on sFer and Hbmass. There were no sFer treatment (p = .928) or interaction (p = .877) effects; however, sFer did increase (19.7 μg/L; p < .001) over the 8-week intervention in both groups. In addition, sFer was 21.2 μg/L higher (p < .001) in males than females. No Hbmass treatment (p = .146) or interaction (p = .249) effects existed; however, a significant effect for sex indicated that Hbmass was 140.85 g higher (p = .004) in males compared with females. Training load (p = .001) and dietary iron intake (p = .015) also affected Hbmass. Finally, there were six complaints of severe gastrointestinal side effects in DAY, but only one in ALT. In summary, both supplement strategies increased sFer in athletes with suboptimal iron status; however, the ALT approach was associated with lower incidence of gastrointestinal upset.

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Cruz Hogan, Martyn J. Binnie, Matthew Doyle, Leanne Lester, and Peter Peeling

Purpose: To compare methods of monitoring and prescribing on-water exercise intensity (heart rate [HR], stroke rate [SR], and power output [PO]) during sprint kayak training. Methods: Twelve well-trained flat-water sprint kayak athletes completed a preliminary on-water 7 × 4-min graded exercise test and a 1000-m time trial to delineate individual training zones for PO, HR, and SR into a 5-zone model (T1–T5). Subsequently, athletes completed 2 repeated trials of an on-water training session, where intensity was prescribed based on individual PO zones. Times quantified for T1–T5 during the training session were then compared between PO, HR, and SR. Results: Total time spent in T1 was higher for HR (P < .01) compared with PO. Time spent in T2 was lower for HR (P < .001) and SR (P < .001) compared with PO. Time spent in T3 was not different between PO, SR, and HR (P > .05). Time spent in T4 was higher for HR (P < .001) and SR (P < .001) compared with PO. Time spent in T5 was higher for SR (P = .03) compared with PO. Differences were found between the prescribed and actual time spent in T1–T5 when using PO (P < .001). Conclusions: The measures of HR and SR misrepresented time quantified for T1–T5 as prescribed by PO. The stochastic nature of PO during on-water training may explain the discrepancies between prescribed and actual time quantified for power across these zones. For optimized prescription and monitoring of athlete training loads, coaches should consider the discrepancies between different measures of intensity and how they may influence intensity distribution.