Perspectives and Determinants for Training-Intensity Distribution in Elite Endurance Athletes

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Training-intensity distribution (TID), or the intensity of training and its distribution over time, has been considered an important determinant of the outcome of a training program in elite endurance athletes. The polarized and pyramidal TID, both characterized by a high amount of low-intensity training (below the first lactate or ventilatory threshold), but with different contributions of threshold training (between the first and second lactate or ventilatory threshold) and high-intensity training (above the second lactate or ventilatory threshold), have been reported most frequently in elite endurance athletes. However, the choice between these 2 TIDs is not straightforward. This article describes the historical, evolutionary, and physiological perspectives of the success of the polarized and pyramidal TID and proposes determinants that should be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate TID.

The authors are with the Dept of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. J.G. Bourgois and Boone are also with the Center of Sports Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

J.G. Bourgois (jan.bourgois@ugent.be) is corresponding author.
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