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Manipulating high-intensity interval training: Effects on V˙O2 max, the lactate threshold and 3000m running performance in moderately trained males

      Summary

      The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two high-intensity interval training (HIT) programmes on maximal oxygen uptake ( V ˙ O 2 max ), the lactate threshold (LT) and 3000 m running performance in moderately trained male runners. V ˙ O 2 max , the running speed associated with V ˙ O 2 max ( v V ˙ O 2 max ), the time for which v V ˙ O 2 max can be maintained (Tmax), the running speed at LT ( v LT ) and 3000 m running time (3000mTT) were determined before and following three different training programmes performed for 10 weeks. Following the pre-test, 17 moderately trained male runners ( V ˙ O 2 max = 51.6 ± 2.7 ml k g 1 mi n 1 ) were divided into training groups based on their 3000mTT (Group 1, G1, N = 6, 8× 60% of Tmax at v V ˙ O 2 max , 1:1 work:recovery ratio; Group 2, G2, N = 6, 12× 30s at 130% v V ˙ O 2 max , 4.5 min recovery; control group, GCON, N = 5, 60 min at 75% v V ˙ O 2 max ). G1 and G2 performed two HIT sessions and two 60 min recovery run sessions (75% v V ˙ O 2 max ) each week. Control subjects performed four 60 min recovery run sessions (75% v V ˙ O 2 max ) each week. In G1, significant improvements (p < 0.05) following HIT were found in V ˙ O 2 max (+9.1%), v V ˙ O 2 max (+6.4%), Tmax (5%), v LT (+11.7%) and 3000mTT (−7.3%). In G2, significant improvements (p < 0.05) following HIT were found in V ˙ O 2 max (+6.2%), v V ˙ O 2 max (+7.8%), Tmax (+32%) and 3000mTT (−3.4%), but not in v LT (+4.7%; p = 0.07). No significant changes in these variables were found in GCON. The present study has shown that 3000 m running performance, V ˙ O 2 max , v V ˙ O 2 max , Tmax and v LT can be significantly enhanced using different HIT programmes in moderately trained runners, but that changes in performance and physiological variables may be more profound using prolonged HIT at intensities of v V ˙ O 2 max with interval durations of 60% Tmax.

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