Despite increasing participation rates in masters sport and extensive research examining age-related changes in performance, little is known about the effect of age on recovery kinetics in masters athletes. This narrative review focuses on the relationship between aging and sport participation, and the effect on both performance and recovery following an exercise bout. Current research suggests the effect of age on performance and recovery may be smaller than originally suggested and that increasing sedentary lifestyles appear to play a larger role in any observed decrements in performance and recovery in masters athletes. Currently, it appears that performance decrements are inevitable with age. However, performance capacities can be maintained through systematic physical training. Moreover, the limited current research suggests there may be an age effect on recovery kinetics following an exercise bout, although further research is required to understand the acute and chronic recovery processes in the masters athlete.
Nattai Borges, Peter Reaburn, Matthew Driller and Christos Argus
James Fell and Andrew Dafydd Williams
Recovery from exercise is integral to the physical training process. There is a perception among older athletes that aging negatively affects the recovery process. Plausible arguments for an impaired recovery with aging are a greater susceptibility of older muscle to exercise-induced skeletal-muscle damage and a slower repair and adaptation response. Differences in the physical activity level of the research participants are rarely considered, however. This makes it difficult to differentiate the respective roles of declining physical activity and aging on the recovery process. Furthermore, the type of exercise used to induce damage and monitor recovery is often not indicative of a normal training stimulus for athletes. This review discusses the effects of aging on skeletal-muscle damage and recovery processes and highlights the limitations of many of these studies with respect to older athletes. Future research should use an exercise intervention representative of a normal training stimulus and take the physical activity level of the participants into account.
Jessyca N. Arthur-Cameselle and Paula A. Quatromoni
The purpose of this study was to characterize recovery experiences of female collegiate athletes who have suffered from eating disorders. Participants were 16 collegiate female athletes who experienced recovery from an eating disorder. Participants told their recovery stories in semistructured interviews regarding factors that initiated, assisted, and hindered recovery. The most common turning point to initiate recovery was experiencing negative consequences from the eating disorder. Factors that most frequently assisted recovery included making cognitive and behavioral changes, supportive relationships, and seeking professional care. Hindering factors most commonly included lack of support from others, professional care complaints, and spending time with others with eating disorders. Results suggested that unique features of the sport environment, including coaches’ behavior and team norms, introduce either positive or negative influences on athletes as they work to recover from an eating disorder. Based on these findings, specific treatment and prevention recommendations for athletes are discussed.
Oliver R. Barley, Dale W. Chapman and Chris R. Abbiss
previous research indicating that even when provided with 24 hours of ad libitum fluid/food intake, athletes may not be adequately rehydrating. 2 , 12 Clearly, further research is needed to assess the recovery strategies and their efficacy in combat sports following weigh-ins. In this study, a wide range
Steven H. Doeven, Michel S. Brink, Wouter G.P. Frencken and Koen A.P.M. Lemmink
During intensified phases of competition, attunement of exertion and recovery is crucial to maintain performance. Although a mismatch between coach and player perceptions of training load is demonstrated, it is unknown if these discrepancies also exist for match exertion and recovery.
To determine match exertion and subsequent recovery and to investigate the extent to which the coach is able to estimate players’ match exertion and recovery.
Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and total quality of recovery (TQR) of 14 professional basketball players (age 26.7 ± 3.8 y, height 197.2 ± 9.1 cm, weight 100.3 ± 15.2 kg, body fat 10.3% ± 3.6%) were compared with observations of the coach. During an in-season phase of 15 matches within 6 wk, players gave RPEs after each match. TQR scores were filled out before the first training session after the match. The coach rated observed exertion (ROE) and recovery (TQ-OR) of the players.
RPE was lower than ROE (15.6 ± 2.3 and 16.1 ± 1.4; P = .029). Furthermore, TQR was lower than TQ-OR (12.7 ± 3.0 and 15.3 ± 1.3; P < .001). Correlations between coach- and player-perceived exertion and recovery were r = .25 and r = .21, respectively. For recovery within 1 d the correlation was r = .68, but for recovery after 1–2 d no association existed.
Players perceive match exertion as hard to very hard and subsequent recovery reasonable. The coach overestimates match exertion and underestimates degree of recovery. Correspondence between coach and players is thus not optimal. This mismatch potentially leads to inadequate planning of training sessions and decreases in performance during fixture congestion in basketball.
Lynda M. Mainwaring, Sean M. Bisschop, Robin E.A. Green, Mark Antoniazzi, Paul Comper, Vicki Kristman, Christine Provvidenza and Doug W. Richards
Despite suggestions that emotions influence recovery from injury, there is little research into the emotional sequelae of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or “concussion,” in sport. This examination compares emotional functioning of college athletes with MTBI to that of uninjured teammates and undergraduates. A short version of the Profile of Mood States (POMS; Grove & Prapavessis, 1992) assessed baseline emotions in all groups, and serial emotional functioning in the MTBI and undergraduate groups. Whereas preinjury profiles were similar across groups, the MTBI group showed a significant postinjury spike in depression, confusion, and total mood disturbance that was not seen for the other groups. The elevated mood disturbances subsided within 3 weeks postinjury. Given that concussed athletes were highly motivated to return to play, these data could be used as a benchmark of normal emotional recovery from MTBI. Findings are discussed in relation to current literature on emotional reaction to injury and directions for future research.
Thomas Losnegard, Martin Andersen, Matt Spencer and Jostein Hallén
To investigate the effects of an active and a passive recovery protocol on physiological responses and performance between 2 heats in sprint cross-country skiing.
Ten elite male skiers (22 ± 3 y, 184 ± 4 cm, 79 ± 7 kg) undertook 2 experimental test sessions that both consisted of 2 heats with 25 min between start of the first and second heats. The heats were conducted as an 800-m time trial (6°, >3.5 m/s, ~205 s) and included measurements of oxygen uptake (VO2) and accumulated oxygen deficit. The active recovery trial involved 2 min standing/walking, 16 min jogging (58% ± 5% of VO2peak), and 3 min standing/walking. The passive recovery trial involved 15 min sitting, 3 min walk/jog (~ 30% of VO2peak), and 3 min standing/walking. Blood lactate concentration and heart rate were monitored throughout the recovery periods.
The increased 800-m time between heat 1 and heat 2 was trivial after active recovery (effect size [ES] = 0.1, P = .64) and small after passive recovery (ES = 0.4, P = .14). The 1.2% ± 2.1% (mean ± 90% CL) difference between protocols was not significant (ES = 0.3, P = .3). In heat 2, peak and average VO2 was increased after the active recovery protocol.
Neither passive recovery nor running at ~58% of VO2peak between 2 heats changed performance significantly.
Rachel Borne, Christophe Hausswirth and François Bieuzen
To investigate the effect of different limb blood-flow levels on cycling-performance recovery, blood lactate concentration, and heart rate.
Thirty-three high-intensity intermittent-trained athletes completed two 30-s Wingate anaerobic test sessions, 3 × 30-s (WAnT 1–3) and 1 × 30-s (WAnT 4), on a cycling ergometer. WAnT 1–3 and WAnT 4 were separated by a randomly assigned 24-min recovery intervention selected from among blood-flow restriction, passive rest, placebo stimulation, or neuromuscular electrical-stimulation-induced blood flow. Calf arterial inflow was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography at regular intervals throughout the recovery period. Performance was measured in terms of peak and mean power output during WAnT 1 and WAnT 4.
After the recovery interventions, a large (r = .68 [90% CL .42; .83]) and very large (r = .72 (90% CL .49; .86]) positive correlation were observed between the change in calf arterial inflow and the change in mean and peak power output, respectively. Calf arterial inflow was significantly higher during the neuromuscular-electrical-stimulation recovery intervention than with the blood-flow-restriction, passive-rest, and placebo-stimulation interventions (P < .001). This corresponds to the only intervention that allowed performance recovery (P > .05). No recovery effect was linked to heart rate or blood lactate concentration levels.
For the first time, these data support the existence of a positive correlation between an increase in blood flow and performance recovery between bouts of high-intensity exercise. As a practical consideration, this effect can be obtained by using neuromuscular electrical stimulation-induced blood flow since this passive, simple strategy could be easily applied during short-term recovery.
Oliver Faude, Anke Steffen, Michael Kellmann and Tim Meyer
To analyze performance and fatigue effects of small-sided games (SSG) vs high-intensity interval training (HIIT) performed during a 4-wk in-season period in high-level youth football.
Nineteen players from 4 youth teams (16.5 [SD 0.8] y, 1.79 [0.06] m, 70.7 [5.6] kg) of the 2 highest German divisions completed the study. Teams were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 training sequences (2 endurance sessions per wk): One training group started with SSG, whereas the other group conducted HIIT during the first half of the competitive season. After the winter break, training programs were changed between groups. Before and after the training periods the following tests were completed: the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes, creatine kinase and urea concentrations, vertical-jump height (countermovement jump [CMJ], drop jump), straight sprint, agility, and an incremental field test to determine individual anaerobic threshold (IAT).
Significant time effects were observed for IAT (+1.3%, ηp 2 = .31), peak heart rate (–1.8%, ηp 2 = .45), and CMJ (–2.3%, ηp 2 = .27), with no significant interaction between groups (P > .30). Players with low baseline IAT values (+4.3%) showed greater improvements than those with high initial values (±0.0%). A significant decrease was found for total recovery (–5.0%, ηp 2 = .29), and an increase was found for urea concentration (+9.2%, ηp 2 = .44).
Four weeks of in-season endurance training can lead to relevant improvements in endurance capacity. The decreases in CMJ height and total-recovery score together with the increase in urea concentration might be interpreted as early signs of fatigue. Thus, the danger of overtaxing players should be considered.
Sarah Shaw, Tina Smith, Jenny Alexanders, Thomas Shaw, Lois Smith, Alan Nevill and Anna Anderson
To investigate half-marathon runners’ frequency of use of recovery strategies, perceptions regarding the most beneficial recovery strategy, and reasons for using recovery strategies.
186 participants of the 13.1 mile BUPA Great North Run 2013.
A questionnaire was developed which required participants to indicate how frequently they used 12 different recovery strategies, identify which recovery strategy they believed to be most beneficial, and rank 6 reasons for using recovery strategies in order of importance. Data were analyzed using a Friedman nonparametric ANOVA and additional nonparametric tests.
All participants used recovery strategies. Stretching was the most commonly used recovery strategy (P < .001), whereas the use of nutritional supplements was the most commonly selected most beneficial recovery strategy. More than 50% of respondents indicated that they never used strategies such as kinesio tape (80%), hydrotherapy (78%), or ice baths (71%). A significant difference was observed between reasons for using recovery strategy (χ2 (5) = 292.29, P < .001). Reducing muscle tightness (rank 4.87) and reducing injury (rank 4.35) were the most frequently chosen most important reasons for using recovery strategies. Minor sex and age differences in the responses were identified.
Recovery strategy usage appears to be widespread among half-marathon runners; however, disparities exist between the frequency of use and perceived effectiveness of different recovery strategies. Further research in this area is needed to facilitate the development of recovery strategy guidelines which are both evidence-based and practically relevant.