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Gregoire P. Millet, David J. Bentley and Veronica E. Vleck

The relationships between sport sciences and sports are complex and changeable, and it is not clear how they reciprocally influence each other. By looking at the relationship between sport sciences and the “new” (~30-year-old) sport of triathlon, together with changes in scientific fields or topics that have occurred between 1984 and 2006 (278 publications), one observes that the change in the sport itself (eg, distance of the events, wetsuit, and drafting) can influence the specific focus of investigation. The sport-scientific fraternity has successfully used triathlon as a model of prolonged strenuous competition to investigate acute physiological adaptations and trauma, as support for better understanding cross-training effects, and, more recently, as a competitive sport with specific demands and physiological features. This commentary discusses the evolution of the scientific study of triathlon and how the development of the sport has affected the nature of scientific investigation directly related to triathlon and endurance sport in general.

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John A. Mercer, Bryon C. Applequist and Kenji Masumoto

Background:

Body-weight (BW) support during running can be accomplished using deep-water running (DWR; 100% BW support) and a lower-body positive-pressure (LBPP) treadmill.

Purpose:

To compare lower-extremity muscle activity during DWR and running on an LBPP treadmill at matched stride frequency.

Methods:

Eight subjects (40 ± 6.5 y, 173 ± 7.2 cm, 66.9 ± 11.7 kg) completed 4 running conditions all at a preferred stride frequency that was determined while running with no support. Two conditions were running on the LBPP treadmill at 60% and 80% of BW, and the other 2 conditions were different DWR styles: high knee (DWR-HK) and cross-country (DWR-CC). Average (AVG) and root-mean-square (RMS) electromyography (rectus femoris, biceps femoris, gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior) were each compared among conditions (repeated-measures analysis of variance).

Results:

Results for AVG and RMS variables were identical for statistical tests for each muscle. Rectus femoris electromyography during DWR-HK was lower than that of DWR-CC (P < .05) but not different than either 60% BW or 80% BW (P > .05). Biceps femoris electromyography was less during DWR-HK than DWR-CC (P < .05) but greater during DWR-HK than either BW 60% or BW 80% (P < .05). Neither gastrocnemius nor tibialis anterior electromyography differed between conditions (P > .05).

Conclusion:

Neither the mechanism of BW support nor style of DWR influenced gastrocnemius or tibialis anterior muscle activity during running at the same stride frequency. However, rectus femoris and biceps femoris muscle activity were influenced by not only the mechanism of BW support but also the style of DWR.

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Espen Tønnessen, Ida S. Svendsen, Bent R. Rønnestad, Jonny Hisdal, Thomas A. Haugen and Stephen Seiler

One year of training data from 8 elite orienteers were divided into a transition phase (TP), general preparatory phase (GPP), specific preparatory phase (SPP), and competition phase (CP). Average weekly training volume and frequency, hours at different intensities (zones 1–3), cross-training, running, orienteering, interval training, continuous training, and competition were calculated. Training volume was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (14.9 vs 9.7, 11.5, and 10.6 h/wk, P < .05). Training frequency was higher in GPP than TP (10 vs 7.5 sessions/wk, P < .05). Zone 1 training was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (11.3 vs 7.1, 8.3, and 7.7 h/wk, P < .05). Zone 3 training was higher in SPP and CP than in TP and GPP (0.9 and 1.1 vs 1.6 and 1.5 h/wk, P < .05). Cross-training was higher in GPP than SPP and CP (4.3 vs 0.8 h/wk, P < .05). Interval training was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (0.7 vs 0.3 h/wk, P < .05). High-intensity continuous training was higher in GPP than CP (0.9 vs 0.4 h/wk, P < .05), while competition was higher in SPP and CP than in TP and GPP (1.3 and 1.5 vs 0.6 and 0.3 h/wk, P < .01). In conclusion, these champion endurance athletes achieved a progressive reduction in total training volume from GPP to CP via a shortening of each individual session while the number of training sessions remained unchanged. This decrease in training volume was primarily due to a reduction in the number of hours of low-intensity, non-sport-specific cross-training.

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Angela Tate, Shana Harrington, Melissa Buness, Susan Murray, Caitlin Trout and Corinne Meisel

Context:

Youth- through masters-level competitive swimmers incur significant shoulder pain. Risk factors associated with shoulder pain include high swimming yardage, a lack of cross-training, decreased shoulder strength and reduced core endurance, and limited posterior shoulder and pectoral length. Since training, swimming exposure, and physical-performance measures have all been associated with shoulder pain, the methods used to train swimmers may influence the development of shoulder pain, yet studies delineating training methods are lacking.

Objectives:

To identify in-water and dry-land practices among youth- through masters-level swimmers in the United States (US) and describe the potential effects of training practices on swimmers’ shoulders.

Design:

A Web-based survey was developed to identify common training practices in 5 areas: quantification of swimming and dry-land training and in-water techniques such as kicking drills, upper-body stretching, shoulder and core strengthening, and cross-training.

Participants:

156 swim-team coaches or captains of youth, high school, and college swim teams and 196 masters swimmers participated (N = 352). There was geographic representation from across the US.

Results:

Responses indicated diverse training practices. However, most respondents used kicking drills, which may provoke shoulder pain due to prolonged poor positioning. High yardage swum by high school and college teams increases their risk of shoulder tendinopathy. Stretching and strengthening exercises and dosages commonly used were inconsistent with current research recommendations and lacked specificity in terms of addressing typical mobility restrictions and muscle weaknesses described in the swimming literature. Core strengthening and cross-training are frequently performed.

Conclusions:

Several areas of in-water and dry-land practice were identified that may put swimmers’ shoulders at risk for injury. Further research regarding the safety and efficacy of training programs is recommended to determine optimal methods of injury prevention and performance enhancement.

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Alexandre Moreira, Johann C. Bilsborough, Courtney J. Sullivan, Michael Cianciosi, Marcelo Saldanha Aoki and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose:

To examine the training periodization of an elite Australian Football team during different phases of the season.

Methods:

Training-load data were collected during 22 wk of preseason and 23 wk of in-season training. Training load was measured using the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) for all training sessions and matches from 44 professional Australian Football players from the same team. Training intensity was divided into 3 zones based on session-RPE (low, <4; moderate, >4 AU and <7 AU; and high, >7 AU). Training load and intensity were analyzed according to the type of training session completed.

Results:

Higher training load and session duration were undertaken for all types of training sessions during the preseason than in-season (P < .05), with the exception of “other” training (ie, re/prehabilitation training, cross-training, and recovery activities). Training load and intensity were higher during the preseason, with the exception of games, where greater load and intensity were observed during the in-season. The overall distribution of training intensity was similar between phases with the majority of training performed at moderate or high intensity.

Conclusions:

The current findings may allow coaches and scientists to better understand the characteristics of Australian Football periodization, which in turn may aid in developing optimal training programs. The results also indicate that a polarized training-intensity distribution that has been reported in elite endurance athletes does not occur in professional Australian Football.

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Milos Mallol, David J. Bentley, Lynda Norton, Kevin Norton, Gaizka Mejuto and Javier Yanci

As athletes strive to improve physical fitness and performance, there is greater pressure to push the boundaries of exercise training. This often manifests itself as increased training volume, especially training time, but also, for example, incorporation of cross-training and specificity of

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Ida A. Heikura, Louise M. Burke, Dan Bergland, Arja L.T. Uusitalo, Antti A. Mero and Trent Stellingwerff

training load was not reduced due to cross-training) groups for further analysis. Baseline IAAF scores were compared with the best race performance (IAAF score) within 3 weeks of descent from altitude (post-IAAF score). Differences in precamp body composition, Hbmass, iron status, EA, sex hormones, and BMD

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Blaine E. Arney, Reese Glover, Andrea Fusco, Cristina Cortis, Jos J. de Koning, Teun van Erp, Salvador Jaime, Richard P. Mikat, John P. Porcari and Carl Foster

R , Schrager M , Green MA , Snyder AC . Effects of specific versus cross-training on running performance . Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol . 1995 ; 70 ( 4 ): 367 – 372 . PubMed ID: 7649149 doi:10.1007/BF00865035 10.1007/BF00865035 7649149 5. Foster C , Florhaug JA , Franklin J

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Natalie L. Myers, Guadalupe Mexicano and Kristin V. Aguilar

. Future research should investigate this metric in both team sports and individual-based sports. Finally, sRPE measures were only calculated for practice and game training; further research may be needed to investigate workload with respect to resistance and cross-training activities. In conclusion, there

Open access

Carl Foster

in triathlon athletes . Eur J Appl Physiol . 79 ; 1999 : 182 – 191 . doi:10.1007/s004210050493 10.1007/s004210050493 21. Foster C , Hector LL , Welsh R , Schrager M , Green MA , Snyder AC . Effects of specific vs cross training on running performance . Eur J Appl Physiol . 1995