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  • Author: Sally A. Clark x
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Miranda J. Menaspà, Paolo Menaspà, Sally A. Clark and Maurizio Fanchini

Purpose : To validate the quantification of training load (session rating of perceived exertion [s-RPE]) in an Australian Olympic squad (women’s water polo), assessed with the use of a modified RPE scale collected via a newly developed online system (athlete management system). Methods: Sixteen elite women water polo players (age = 26 [3] y, height  = 1.78 [0.05] m, and body mass  = 75.5 [7.1] kg) participated in the study. Thirty training sessions were monitored for a total of 303 individual sessions. Heart rate was recorded during training sessions using continuous heart-rate telemetry. Participants were asked to rate the intensity of the training sessions on the athlete management system RPE scale, using an online application within 30 min of completion of the sessions. Individual relationships between s-RPE and both Banister training impulse (TRIMP) and Edwards’ method were analyzed. Results : Individual correlations with s-RPE ranged between r = .51 and .79 (Banister TRIMP) and r = .54 and .83 (Edwards’ method). The percentages of moderate and large correlation were 81% and 19% between s-RPE method and Banister TRIMP, and 56% and 44% between s-RPE and Edwards’ method. Conclusions : The online athlete management system for assessing s-RPE was shown to be a valid indicator of internal training load and can be used in elite sport.

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Laura A. Garvican, David T. Martin, Sally A. Clark, Walter F. Schmidt and Christopher J. Gore

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Philo U. Saunders, Christoph Ahlgrim, Brent Vallance, Daniel J. Green, Eileen Y. Robertson, Sally A. Clark, Yorck O. Schumacher and Christopher J. Gore

Purpose:

To quantify physiological and performance effects of hypoxic exposure, a training camp, the placebo effect, and a combination of these factors.

Methods:

Elite Australian and International race walkers (n = 17) were recruited, including men and women. Three groups were assigned: 1) Live High:Train Low (LHTL, n = 6) of 14 h/d at 3000 m simulated altitude; 2) Placebo (n = 6) of 14 h/d of normoxic exposure (600 m); and 3) Nocebo (n = 5) living in normoxia. All groups undertook similar training during the intervention. Physiological and performance measures included 10-min maximal treadmill distance, peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), walking economy, and hemoglobin mass (Hbmass).

Results:

Blinding failed, so the Placebo group was a second control group aware of the treatment. All three groups improved treadmill performance by approx. 4%. Compared with Placebo, LHTL increased Hbmass by 8.6% (90% CI: 3.5 to 14.0%; P = .01, very likely), VO2peak by 2.7% (-2.2 to 7.9%; P = .34, possibly), but had no additional improvement in treadmill distance (-0.8%, -4.6 to 3.8%; P = .75, unlikely) or economy (-8.2%, -24.1 to 5.7%; P = .31, unlikely). Compared with Nocebo, LHTL increased Hbmass by 5.5% (2.5 to 8.7%; P = .01, very likely), VO2peak by 5.8% (2.3 to 9.4%; P = .02, very likely), but had no additional improvement in treadmill distance (0.3%, -1.9 to 2.5%; P = .75, possibly) and had a decrease in walking economy (-16.5%, -30.5 to 3.9%; P = .04, very likely).

Conclusion:

Overall, 3-wk LHTL simulated altitude training for 14 h/d increased Hbmass and VO2peak, but the improvement in treadmill performance was not greater than the training camp effect.