The development of functional overreaching is associated with a faster heart rate recovery in endurance athletes

Aubry A, Hausswirth C, Louis J, Coutts AJ, Buchheit M & Le Meur Y. The development of functional overreaching is associated with a faster heart rate recovery in endurance athletes. Plos1, In press.

Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate whether heart rate recovery (HRR)
may represent an effective marker of functional overreaching (f-OR) in endurance
athletes. Methods and Results: Thirty-one experienced male triathletes were tested (10
control and 21 overload subjects) before (Pre), and immediately after an overload
training period (Mid) and after a 2-week taper (Post). Physiological responses were
assessed during an incremental cycling protocol to exhaustion, including heart rate,
catecholamine release and blood lactate concentration. Ten participants from the
overload group developed signs of f-OR at Mid (i.e. -2.1 ± 0.8% decreased
performance with concomitant high perceived fatigue). Additionally, only the f-OR
group demonstrated a 99% chance to demonstrate an increase in HRR during the
overload period (+8 ± 5 bpm, large effect size). Concomitantly, this group also revealed
a >80% chance of decreasing blood lactate (-11 ± 14%, large), plasma norepinephrine
(-12 ± 37%, small) and plasma epinephrine peak concentrations (-51 ± 22%,
moderate). These blood measures returned to baseline levels at Post. HRR change
was negatively correlated to changes in performance, peak HR and peak blood
metabolites concentrations. Conclusion: These findings suggest that i) a faster HRR is
not systematically associated with improved physical performance, ii) changes in HRR
should be interpreted in the context of the specific training phase, the athletes
perceived level of fatigue and the performance response; and, iii) the faster HRR
associated with f-OR may be induced by a decreased central command and by a lower
chemoreflex activity.

Fig2CTL: controls; AF: acute fatigue; f-OR: functional overreaching.

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Aaron  Yann

Quantification of training and competition load across a season in an elite Australian Football Club

Ritchie D, Hopkins WG, Buchheit M, Cordy J, & Bartlett JD. Quantification of training and competition load across a season in an elite Australian Football Club. IJSPP, In press.

Figure 1Full text here

Abstract

Purpose: Load monitoring in Australian Football (AF) has been widely adopted, yet team sport periodization strategies are relatively unknown. Here we have aimed to quantify training and competition load across a season in an elite AF team, using rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and GPS. tracking.

Methods: Weekly totals for RPE and GPS loads (including accelerometer data; Playerload) were obtained for 44 players across a full season for each training modality and for competition. General linear mixed models compared mean weekly load between 3x pre-season and 4x in-season blocks. Effects were assessed with inferences about magnitudes standardized with between-player SD.

Results: Total RPE load was most likely greater during pre-season, where the majority of load was obtained via skills and conditioning. There was a large reduction in RPE load in the last pre-season block. During in-season, half the total load came from games and the remaining half from training, predominantly skills and upper-body weights. Total distance, high-intensity running, and Playerload showed large to very large reductions from pre-season to in-season, whereas changes in mean speed were trivial across all blocks. All these effects were clear at the 99% level.

Conclusions: These data provide useful information about targeted periods of loading and unloading across different stages of a season. Our study also provides a framework for further investigation of training periodization in AF teams.

Key Words: Training organisation, training distribution, team sports

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