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Jan G. Bourgois, Gil Bourgois and Jan Boone

, polarized model; PYR, pyramidal model; THR, threshold model; TID, training-intensity distribution; VT 1 , first ventilatory threshold; VT 2 , second ventilatory threshold. Historical Perspective Since 1990, TID of elite endurance athletes has been reported based on narrative literature and empirical

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Øystein Sylta, Espen Tønnessen and Stephen Seiler

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to validate the accuracy of self-reported (SR) training duration and intensity distribution in elite endurance athletes.

Methods:

Twenty-four elite cross-country skiers (25 ± 4 y, 67.9 ± 9.88 kg, 75.9 ± 6.50 mL · min−1 · kg−1) SR all training sessions during an ~14-d altitude-training camp. Heart rate (HR) and some blood lactate measurements were collected during 466 training sessions. SR training was compared with recorded training duration from HR monitors, and SR intensity distribution was compared with expert analysis (EA) of all session data.

Results:

SR training was nearly perfectly correlated with recorded training duration (r = .99), but SR training was 1.7% lower than recorded training duration (P < .001). SR training duration was also nearly perfectly correlated (r = .95) with recorded training duration >55% HRmax, but SR training was 11.4% higher than recorded training duration >55% HRmax (P < .001) due to SR inclusion of time <55% HRmax. No significant differences were observed in intensity distribution in zones 1–2 between SR and EA comparisons, but small discrepancies were found in zones 3–4 (P < .001).

Conclusions:

This study provides evidence that elite endurance athletes report their training data accurately, although some small differences were observed due to lack of a SR “gold standard.” Daily SR training is a valid method of quantifying training duration and intensity distribution in elite endurance athletes. However, additional common reporting guidelines would further enhance accuracy.

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Jonatan R. Ruiz, Carmen Fiuza-Luces, Nuria Garatachea and Alejandro Lucia

For centuries, the general consensus has been that vigorous, competitive exercise was harmful and shortened life expectancy. Recent data from prospective cohort studies conducted on marathon runners, professional cyclists, and Olympic athletes indicate, however, that regular intense endurance-exercise training has protective benefits against cardiovascular disease and premature death. There are still important questions to be answered, such as what is the optimal dose, in terms of both duration and intensity of training or competition, beyond which the health benefits of regular exercise stabilize or might even potentially disappear.

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

; 10 ( 4 ): 524 – 527 . PubMed ID: 25310521 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2014-0270 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0270 25310521 7. Seiler KS , Kjerland GØ . Quantifying training intensity distribution in elite endurance athletes: is there evidence for an “optimal” distribution? Scand J Med Sci Sports . 2006 ; 16

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Espen Tønnessen, Thomas A. Haugen, Erlend Hem, Svein Leirstein and Stephen Seiler

Purpose:

To generate updated Olympic-medal benchmarks for V̇O2max in winter endurance disciplines, examine possible differences in V̇O2max between medalists and nonmedalists, and calculate gender difference in V̇O2max based on a homogeneous subset of world-leading endurance athletes.

Methods:

The authors identified 111 athletes who participated in winter Olympic Games/World Championships in the period 1990 to 2013. All identified athletes tested V̇O2max at the Norwegian Olympic Training Center within ±1 y of their championship performance. Testing procedures were consistent throughout the entire period.

Results:

For medal-winning athletes, the following relative V̇O2max values (mean:95% confidence intervals) for men/women were observed (mL · min–1 · kg–1): 84:87-81/72:77-68 for cross-country distance skiing, 78:81-75/68:73-64 for cross-country sprint skiing, 81:84-78/67:73-61 for biathlon, and 77:80-75 for Nordic combined (men only). Similar benchmarks for absolute V̇O2max (L/min) in male/female athletes are 6.4:6.1-6.7/4.3:4.1-4.5 for cross-country distance skiers, 6.3:5.8-6.8/4.0:3.7-4.3 for cross-country sprint skiers, 6.2:5.7-6.4/4.0:3.7-4.3 for biathletes, and 5.3:5.0-5.5 for Nordic combined (men only). The difference in relative V̇O2max between medalists and nonmedalists was large for Nordic combined, moderate for cross-country distance and biathlon, and small/trivial for the other disciplines. Corresponding differences in absolute V̇O2max were small/trivial for all disciplines. Male cross-country medalists achieve 15% higher relative V̇O2max than corresponding women.

Conclusions:

This study provides updated benchmark V̇O2max values for Olympic-medal-level performance in winter endurance disciplines and can serve as a guideline of the requirements for future elite athletes.

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Laurent Schmitt, Stéphane Bouthiaux and Grégoire P. Millet

performance level. Overall, this case study confirms the effectiveness of a training method with a large amount of LIT in an elite endurance athlete. Moreover, it demonstrates the benefits of regular HRV monitoring. Conclusion The improvement in performance in the most successful male biathlete over the last

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

.1.79 10.1123/ijspp.7.1.79 21941010 5. Wehrlin JP , Zuest P , Hallen J , Marti B . Live high-train low for 24 days increases hemoglobin mass and red cell volume in elite endurance athletes . J Appl Physiol (1985) . 2006 ; 100 ( 6 ): 1938 – 1945 . PubMed ID: 16497842 doi:10.1152/japplphysiol

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Matthew T.G. Pain

Bilateral deficit is well documented; however, bilateral deficit is not present in all tasks and is more likely in dynamic activities than isometric activities. No definitive mechanism(s) for bilateral deficit is known but an oft cited mechanism is lower activation of fast twitch motor units. The aim of this study was to produce comparable and consistent one and two legged drop jumps to examine bilateral deficit in elite power athletes and elite endurance athletes. Seven power athletes and seven endurance athletes performed single and double leg drop jumps from a range of heights that equalized loading per leg in terms of: height dropped, energy absorbed, and momentum absorbed. Force and motion data were collected at 800 Hz. Bilateral deficit for jump height, peak concentric force, and peak concentric power were calculated. Power athletes had a significantly greater (P < .05) bilateral deficit for jump height and peak power, possibly due to power athletes having more fast twitch motor units, however, endurance athletes generally had a bilateral surfeit which could confound this inference. Results indicate that equalizing loading by impulse per leg is the most appropriate and that a consistent drop height can be obtained with a short 10 minute coaching session.

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Alexandre Moreira, Tom Kempton, Marcelo Saldanha Aoki, Anita C. Sirotic and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose:

To examine the impact of varying between-matches microcycles on training characteristics (ie, intensity, duration, and load) in professional rugby league players and to report on match load related to these between-matches microcycles.

Methods:

Training-load data were collected during a 26-wk competition period of an entire season. Training load was measured using the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method for every training session and match from 44 professional rugby league players from the same National Rugby League team. Using the category-ratio 10 RPE scale, the training intensity was divided into 3 zones (low <4 AU, moderate ≥4-≤7 AU, and high >7 AU). Three different-length between-matches recovery microcycles were used for analysis: 5−6 d, 7−8 d, and 9−10 d.

Results:

A total of 3848 individual sessions were recorded. During the shorter-length between-matches microcycles (5−6 d), significantly lower training load was observed. No significant differences for subsequent match load or intensity were identified between the various match recovery periods. Overall, 16% of the training sessions were completed at the low-intensity zone, 61% at the moderate-intensity zone, and 23% at the high-intensity zone.

Conclusions:

The findings demonstrate that rugby league players undertake higher training load as the length of between-matches microcycles is increased. The majority of in-season training of professional rugby league players was at moderate intensity, and a polarized approach to training that has been reported in elite endurance athletes does not occur in professional rugby league.

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Matt Spencer, Thomas Losnegard, Jostein Hallén and Will G. Hopkins

Analyses of elite competitive performance provide useful information for research and practical applications.

Purpose:

Here the authors analyze performance times of cross-country skiers at international competitions (World Cup, World Championship, and Olympics) in classical and free styles of women’s and men’s distance and sprint events, each with a total of 410–569 athletes competing in 1–44 races at 15–25 venues from seasons 2002 to 2011.

Methods:

A linear mixed model of race times for each event provided estimates of within-athlete race-to-race variability expressed as a coefficient of variation (CV) after adjustment for fixed or random effects of snow conditions, altitude, race length, and competition terrain.

Results:

Within-athlete variability was similar for men and women over various events for all athletes (CV of 1.5–1.8%) and for the annual top-10 athletes (1.1–1.4%). Observed effects of snow conditions and altitude on mean time were substantial (~2%) but mostly unclear, owing to large effects of terrain (CV of 4–10% in top-10 analyses). Predictability of performance was extremely high for all athletes (intraclass correlations of .90–.96) but only trivial to poor for top-10 athletes (men .00–.03, women .03–.35).

Conclusion:

The race-to-race variability of top-ranked skiers is similar to that of other elite endurance athletes. Estimates of the smallest worthwhile performance enhancement (0.3× within-athlete variability) will help researchers and practitioners evaluate strategies affecting performance of elite skiers.