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Charles R. Pedlar, Gregory P. Whyte, Richard Burden, Brian Moore, Gill Horgan and Noel Pollock

This case study examines the impact of low serum ferritin (sFe) on physiological assessment measures and performance in a young female 1500-m runner undertaking approximately 95–130 km/wk training. The study spans 4 race seasons and an Olympic Games. During this period, 25 venous blood samples were analyzed for sFe and hemoglobin (Hb); running economy, VO2max, and lactate threshold were measured on 6 occasions separated by 8–10 mo. Training was carefully monitored including 65 monitored treadmill training runs (targeting an intensity associated with the onset of blood lactate accumulation) using blood lactate and heart rate. Performances at competitive track events were recorded. All data were compared longitudinally. Mean sFe was 24.5 ± 7.6 μg/L (range 10–47), appearing to be in gradual decline with the exception of 2 data points (37 and 47 μg/L) after parenteral iron injections before championships, when the lowest values tended to occur, coinciding with peak training volumes. Each season, 1500-m performance improved, from 4:12.8 in year 1 to 4:03.5 in year 4. VO2max (69.8 ± 2.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1) and running economy (%VO2max at a fixed speed of 16 km/h; max 87.8%, min 80.3%) were stable across time and lactate threshold improved (from 14 to 15.5 km/h). Evidence of anemia (Hb <12 g/dL) was absent. These unique data demonstrate that in 1 endurance athlete, performance can continue to improve despite an apparent iron deficiency. Raising training volume may have caused increased iron utilization; however, the effect of this on performance is unknown. Iron injections were effective in raising sFe in the short term but did not appear to affect the long-term pattern.

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Daniel J. Plews, Paul B. Laursen, Andrew E. Kilding and Martin Buchheit


Elite endurance athletes may train in a polarized fashion, such that their training-intensity distribution preserves autonomic balance. However, field data supporting this are limited.


The authors examined the relationship between heart-rate variability and training-intensity distribution in 9 elite rowers during the 26-wk build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games (2 won gold and 2 won bronze medals). Weekly averaged log-transformed square root of the mean sum of the squared differences between R-R intervals (Ln rMSSD) was examined, with respect to changes in total training time (TTT) and training time below the first lactate threshold (>LT1), above the second lactate threshold (LT2), and between LT1 and LT2 (LT1–LT2).


After substantial increases in training time in a particular training zone or load, standardized changes in Ln rMSSD were +0.13 (unclear) for TTT, +0.20 (51% chance increase) for time >LT1, –0.02 (trivial) for time LT1–LT2, and –0.20 (53% chance decrease) for time >LT2. Correlations (±90% confidence limits) for Ln rMSSD were small vs TTT (r = .37 ± .80), moderate vs time >LT1 (r = .43 ± .10), unclear vs LT1–LT2 (r = .01 ± .17), and small vs >LT2 (r = –.22 ± .50).


These data provide supportive rationale for the polarized model of training, showing that training phases with increased time spent at high intensity suppress parasympathetic activity, while low-intensity training preserves and increases it. As such, periodized low-intensity training may be beneficial for optimal training programming.

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Dean A. Zoerink and Joseph Wilson

The twofold purpose of this study was (a) to determine the perspectives held by athletes with mental retardation relative to competitiveness, winning, and setting goals in competitive team sports situations and (b) to explore differences between male and female athletes with mental retardation and their counterparts without disabilities regarding their perceptions of competitiveness, winning, and setting goals in team sports environments. Of the 402 subjects who completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire-Form B (Gill & Deeter, 1988), 288 were male and female athletes with mental retardation who participated in team sports at the 1991 International Special Olympic Games. They were compared with 114 university team sports athletes without disabilities. Analyses of variance revealed that, regardless of disability status, young men viewed themselves to be more competitive than their female counterparts. The findings also indicated that male athletes with mental retardation were more competitive than other athletes and that male athletes without disabilities perceived winning to be more important than did athletes with mental retardation.

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Daniel J. Daly, Laurie A. Malone, David J. Smith, Yves Vanlandewijck and Robert D. Steadward

A video race analysis was conducted at the Atlanta Paralympic Games swimming competition. The purpose was to describe the contribution of clean swimming speed, as well as start, turn, and finish speed, to the total race performance in the four strokes for the men’s 100 m events. Start, turn, and finish times, as well as clean swimming speed during four race sections, were measured on videotapes during the preliminary heats (329 swims). Information on 1996 Olympic Games finalists (N = 16) was also available. In Paralympic swimmers, next to clean swimming speed, both turning and finishing were highly correlated with the end race result. Paralympic swimmers do start, turn, and finish slower than Olympic swimmers but in direct relation to their slower clean swimming speed. The race pattern of these components is not different between Paralympic and Olympic swimmers.

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Roberto Baldassarre, Marco Bonifazi, Romain Meeusen and Maria Francesca Piacentini

season, athletes performed 1 altitude-training camp, adopting a live high-train high methodology (Johannesburg 1800 m). For the specific preparation of the Olympic Games (OG), athlete n. 5 performed a second live-high–train-high training camp (La Loma, 1900 m) 27 days prior to the OG, whereas athletes n

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Luca Filipas, Emiliano Nerli Ballati, Matteo Bonato, Antonio La Torre and Maria Francesca Piacentini

Olympic Games and World Championships, 5 , 6 but it usually differs greatly from pacing patterns adopted during WR performances, where lap splits suggest smooth and slow transitions in speed. 7 In fact, during the Olympic Games and World Championships, the goal is to reach a medal position, whereas

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Ina Garthe and Ronald J. Maughan

Use Huang, Johnson, and Pipe ( 2006 ) • 121 M & 136 F Canadian athletes, Atlanta Olympic Games 1996; response rate: 95% • 150 M & 150 F Canadian athletes, Sydney Olympic Games 2000; response rate: 97% Interview with items on dietary supplements; current use Overall: 69 Atlanta, 74 Sydney Not reported

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Stephen S. Cheung

, Wada K , Smith DR , Endo S , Fukushima T . Preventing heat illness in the anticipated hot climate of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games . Environ Health Prev Med . 2017 ; 22 : 68 . PubMed ID: 29165162 doi:10.1186/s12199-017-0675-y 10.1186/s12199-017-0675-y 29165162 2. Twitter

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Ryan G. Overmayer and Matthew W. Driller

During congested competition schedules, like those often experienced at events such as the Olympic Games, recovery strategies are thought to alleviate postexercise fatigue and enhance subsequent performance. 1 , 2 The Omnium is a multirace event in track cycling at the Olympic Games, with short

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Wei Gao and Keqiang Cao

, do not translate into improved public health because most of these sites are not readily accessible to or usable by the public, making the promotion of PA at the population level challenging. Most large-scale sports venues in China are built for major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, Asian