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Block interval training in highly-trained cross-country skiers
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences. (Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Health Sciences. (Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3814-6246
2013 (English)In: Proceedings for the 6th International Congress on Science and Skiing / [ed] Erich Mueller, Josef Kröll, Stefan Josef Lindinger, Jurgen Pfusterschmied, Thomas Stöggl, 2013, 83- p.Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Short periods of intensified training elicit symptoms of overreaching within only 7 days (Halson et al. 2002). Despite this, block periodization of high-intensity interval training (HIT) has led to superior aerobic responses compared with traditional endurance training among trained alpine skiers and cyclists (Breil et al. 2010; Rønnestad et al. 2012).

METHODS: 21 highly-trained junior cross-country skiers (10 males, 11 females; age 16-20 y) completed 2 x 3-week training blocks in a randomized crossover design, whereby the training sessions in each 3-week block were identical but the distribution of HIT and low-intensity training (LIT) was different. In traditional periodization (TP), 3 HIT sessions (5 x 4-min at >90% HRmax) were completed each week, with LIT sessions evenly distributed over the 3-week period. In block periodization (BP) the same 9 HIT sessions were completed in week 2 and only LIT sessions were completed in weeks 1 and 3. REST-Q data was collected after each training week while resting saliva sampling (for determination of IgA and cortisol), incremental tests and performance trials were completed pre and post each 3-week period.

RESULTS: Although the overall training load (P=0.651) and total amount of work performed during HIT sessions (P=0.224) did not differ between TP and BP, the session RPE was higher and perceived recovery was lower in connection with the HIT sessions during BP (P<0.001). In addition, sport-specific stress REST-Q scores were higher following the BP-HIT week compared with all other weeks (P<0.008), whereas the global recovery-stress state was similar between all TP and BP weeks (P>0.05). Pre to post changes in salivary IgA and cortisol were also similar for TP and BP (P>0.05), although there was a tendency for IgA and cortisol to increase after TP (ES: 0.75 and 0.37) and decrease after BP (ES: 0.23 and 0.12, respectively). The change in VO2max was greater following TP versus BP (2±4% vs -1±3%; P=0.043), whereas the changes in economy (i.e., sub-maximal VO2) and 600-m time-trial performance did not differ between TP and BP (P>0.05).

DISCUSSION: The current study shows that highly-trained junior cross-country skiers are able to complete 9 HIT sessions at >90% HRmax within a week, with no difference in work done during the HIT sessions compared to a more traditional format of HIT-session distribution. Moreover, the REST-Q and biochemical markers indicate that BP does not lead to greater overall stress compared with TP, despite acute increases in stress following the BP-HOT week. Unlike previous studies using alpine skiers and cyclists (Breil et al. 2010; Rønnestad et al. 2012), the current findings do not support BP as a superior method for improving aerobic characteristics or performance among highly-trained cross-country skiers.

CONCLUSION: The BP intervention introduced in the current study can be tolerated by junior cross-country skiers in a highly-trained state and may be a useful training method at different stages of the season. However, it does not appear superior to TP in inducing aerobic or performance adaptations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 83- p.
Keyword [en]
economy, maximal oxygen uptake, performance, periodization, stress, training load
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-20319OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-20319DiVA: diva2:667374
Conference
6th International Congress on Science and Skiing - Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology | University of Salzburg, Austria
Available from: 2013-11-26 Created: 2013-11-26 Last updated: 2015-07-01Bibliographically approved

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