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Jamie Stanley, Shaun D’Auria and Martin Buchheit

The authors examined whether changes in heart-rate (HR) variability (HRV) could consistently track adaptation to training and race performance during a 32-wk competitive season. An elite male long-course triathlete recorded resting HR (RHR) each morning, and vagal-related indices of HRV (natural logarithm of the square root of mean squared differences of successive R−R intervals [ln rMSSD] and the ratio of ln rMSSD to R−R interval length [ln rMSSD:RR]) were assessed. Daily training load was quantified using a power meter and wrist-top GPS device. Trends in HRV indices and training load were examined by calculating standardized differences (ES). The following trends in week-to-week changes were consistently observed: (1) When the triathlete was coping with a training block, RHR decreased (ES −0.38 [90% confidence limits −0.05;−0.72]) and ln rMSSD increased (+0.36 [0.71;0.00]). (2) When the triathlete was not coping, RHR increased (+0.65 [1.29;0.00]) and ln rMSSD decreased (−0.60 [0.00;−1.20]). (3) Optimal competition performance was associated with moderate decreases in ln rMSSD (−0.86 [−0.76;−0.95]) and ln rMSSD:RR (−0.90 [−0.60;−1.20]) in the week before competition. (4) Suboptimal competition performance was associated with small decreases in ln rMSSD (−0.25 [−0.76;−0.95]) and trivial changes in ln rMSSD:RR (−0.04 [0.50;−0.57]) in the week before competition. To conclude, in this triathlete, a decrease in RHR concurrent with increased ln rMSSD compared with the previous week consistently appears indicative of positive training adaptation during a training block. A simultaneous reduction in ln rMSSD and ln rMSSD:RR during the final week preceding competition appears consistently indicative of optimal performance.

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Michael J. Duncan

A 10-week plyometrics-based intervention was carried out with a county-level hurler during preseason preparation. The intervention resulted in a number of physiological changes specific to hurling performance. Most notably, it enabled the athlete to complete repeated sprints with less decrement in performance compared with baseline scores.

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Trevor L. Gillum, Charles L. Dumke and Brent C. Ruby

Purpose:

To describe the degrees of muscle-glycogen depletion and resynthesis in response to a half Ironman triathlon.

Methods:

One male subject (38 years of age) completed the Grand Columbian half Ironman triathlon (1.9-km swim, 90-km bike, 21.1-km run, Coulee City, Wash). Three muscle biopsies were obtained from his right vastus lateralis (prerace, immediately postrace, and 4 hours postrace). Prerace and postrace body weight were recorded, in addition to macronutrient consumption before, during, and after the race. Energy expenditure and whole-body substrate oxidation were estimated from linear regression established from laboratory trials (watts and run pace relative to VO2 and VCO2).

Results:

Body weight decreased 3.8 kg from prerace to postrace. Estimated CHO energy expenditure was 10,003 kJ for the bike segment and 5759 kJ for the run segment of the race. The athlete consumed 308 g of exogenous CHO (liquid and gel; 1.21 g CHO/min) during the race. Muscle glycogen decreased from 227.1 prerace to 38.6 mmol · kg wet weight−1 · h−1 postrace. During the 4 hours postrace, the athlete consumed a mixed diet (471 g CHO, 15 g fat, 64 g protein), which included liquid CHO sources and a meal. The calculated rate of muscle-glycogen resynthesis was 4.1 mmol · kg wet weight−1 · h−1.

Conclusion:

Completing a half Ironman triathlon depends on a high rate of muscle glycogenolysis, which demonstrates the importance of exogenous carbohydrate intake during the race. In addition, rates of muscle-glycogen resynthesis might be dampened by the eccentric damage resulting from the run portion of the race.

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Neele R. Mattausch, Kirsten Domnik, Karsten Koehler, Wilhelm Schaenzer and Hans Braun

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Martin D. Hoffman and Thomas M. Myers

Symptomatic exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) is known to be a potential complication from overhydration during exercise, but there remains a general belief that sodium supplementation will prevent EAH. We present a case in which a runner with a prior history of EAH consulted a sports nutritionist who advised him to consume considerable supplemental sodium, which did not prevent him from developing symptomatic EAH during a subsequent long run. Emergency medical services were requested for this runner shortly after he finished a 17-hr, 72-km run and hike in Grand Canyon National Park during which he reported having consumed 9.2–10.6 L of water and >6,500 mg of sodium. First responders determined his serum sodium concentration with point-of-care testing was 122 mEq/L. His hyponatremia was documented to have improved from field treatment with an oral hypertonic solution of 800 mg of sodium in 200 ml of water, and it improved further after significant aquaresis despite in-hospital treatment with isotonic fluids (lactated Ringer’s). He was discharged about 5 hr after admission in good condition. This case demonstrates that while oral sodium supplementation does not necessarily prevent symptomatic EAH associated with overhydration, early recognition and field management with oral hypertonic saline in combination with fluid restriction can be effective treatment for mild EAH. There continues to be a lack of universal understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and appropriate hospital management of EAH.

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Richard R. Rosenkranz, Chad M. Cook and Mark D. Haub

Purpose:

To illustrate the effects of low-carbohydrate (LC) and grain-based (GB) diets on body composition, biomarkers, athletic training, and performance in an elite triathlete.

Methods:

The athlete followed 2 dietary interventions for 14 d while maintaining a prescheduled training program. Pre- and post intervention measurements for each diet included plasma and serum samples, resting energy expenditure, body composition, and a performance bike ride.

Results:

Compared with the GB diet, the LC diet elicited more disruptions to training and unfavorable subjective experiences. Total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, ratings of perceived exertion, and heart rate were elevated on the LC diet. Blood insulin, resting lactate, post exercise lactate, and C-reactive protein were lowest on the LC diet.

Conclusion:

The LC diet resulted in both favorable and unfavorable outcomes. The primary observation was a disruption to scheduled training on the LC diet. Researchers should consider how the potential mediating effect of disruptions to training could influence pretest–posttest designs.

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Gary J. Slater, Anthony J. Rice, David Jenkins, Jason Gulbin and Allan G. Hahn

To strengthen the depth of lightweight rowing talent, we sought to identify experienced heavyweight rowers who possessed physique traits that predisposed them to excellence as a lightweight. Identified athletes (n = 3) were monitored over 16 wk. Variables measured included performance, anthropometric indices, and selected biochemical and metabolic parameters. All athletes decreased their body mass (range 2.0 to 8.0 kg), with muscle mass accounting for a large proportion of this (31.7 to 84.6%). Two athletes were able to maintain their performance despite reductions in body mass. However, performance was compromised for the athlete who experienced the greatest weight loss. In summary, smaller heavyweight rowers can successfully make the transition into the lightweight category, being nationally competitive in their first season as a lightweight.

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Matt Brearley, Ian Norton, David Kingsbury and Simon Maas

Introduction:

Anecdotal reports suggest that elite road motorcyclists suffer from high core body temperatures and physiological and perceptual strain when competing in hot conditions.

Methods:

Four male non-heat-acclimatized elite motorcyclists (3 Superbike, 1 Supersport) had their gastrointestinal temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate measured and recorded throughout practice, qualifying, and race sessions of an Australian Superbike and Supersport Championship round contested in tropical conditions. Physiological strain was calculated during the sessions, and fluid-balance measures were taken during practice and qualifying. Rider thermal sensation was assessed immediately postsession.

Results:

Mean ambient temperature and relative humidity were 29.5–30.2°C and 64.5–68.7%, respectively, across the sessions. Gastrointestinal temperature rose from 37.6°C to 37.7°C presession at a median rate of 0.035°C, 0.037°C ,and 0.067°C/min during practice, qualifying, and race sessions to reach medians of 38.9°C, 38.8°C, and 39.1°C postsession, respectively. The peak postsession gastrointestinal temperature was 39.8°C. Median heart rates were ~164, 160, and 177 beats/min during the respective practice, qualifying, and race sessions, contributing to median physiological strain of 5.5, 5.6, and 6.2 across the sessions. Sweat rates were 1.01 and 0.90 L/h during practice and qualifying sessions, while rider thermal sensation was very hot after each session.

Conclusions:

This investigation confirms that elite road motorcyclists endure moderate to high physiological strain during practice, qualifying, and race sessions, exhibiting more-rapid rates of body-heat storage, higher core body temperatures, and higher physiological and perceptual strain than their stock-car-racing counterparts when competing in tropical conditions.

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Pedro Figueiredo, Renata Willig, Francisco Alves, João Paulo Vilas-Boas and Ricardo J. Fernandes

Purpose:

To examine the effect of swimming speed (v) on the biomechanical and physiological responses of a trained front-crawl swimmer with a unilateral arm amputation.

Methods:

A 13-y-old girl with a unilateral arm amputation (level of the elbow) was tested for stroke length (SL, horizontal displacement cover with each stroke cycle), stroke frequency (SF, inverse of the time to complete each stroke cycle), adapted index of coordination (IdCadapt, lag time between propulsive phases), intracycle velocity variation (IVV, coefficient of variation of the instantaneous velocity–time data), active drag (D, hydrodynamic resistance), and energy cost (C, ratio of metabolic power to speed) during trials of increasing v.

Results:

Swimmer data showed a positive relationship between v and SF (R 2 = 1, P < .001), IVV (R 2 = .98, P = .002), D (R 2 = .98, P < .001), and C (R 2 = .95, P = .001) and a negative relationship with the SL (R 2 = .99, P = .001). No relation was found between v and IdCadapt (R 2 = .35, P = .22). A quadratic regression best fitted the relationship between v and general kinematical parameters (SL and SF); a cubic relationship fit the IVV best. The relationship between v and D was best expressed by a power regression, and the linear regression fit the C and IdCadapt best.

Conclusions:

The subject’s adaptation to increased v was different from able-bodied swimmers, mainly on interarm coordination, maintaining the lag time between propulsive phases, which influence the magnitude of the other parameters. These results might be useful to develop specific training and enhance swimming performance in swimmers with amputations.

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Robert J. Gregor and Marilyn Pink

As part of an ongoing project to evaluate elite track and field throwers in the United States, the javelin competition was filmed during the 1983 Pepsi Invitational Track Meet. A high-speed video camera (Spin Physics SP2000) was positioned orthogonal to the javelin runway to record the release of all throws. During this competition, Tom Petranoff’s world record (99.72 m) was filmed at 200 fields per second. Subsequent frame-by-frame digitization yielded results consistent with reports in the literature. Release velocity was 32.3 m/s and represents one of the highest values ever reported. Angle of release was .57r, javelin attitude at release was .64r» and angle of attack was .07r. While optimum values for these release parameters, in light of published results, remain open to discussion, the results presented here represent unique information on a world record performance and can serve as a basis of comparison for future performances.