Quantifying the training-intensity distribution in middle-distance runners: The influence of different methods of training-intensity quantification

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Bellinger, Phillip
Arnold, Blayne
Minahan, Clare
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2020
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Abstract

Purpose: To compare the training-intensity distribution (TID) across an 8-week training period in a group of highly trained middle-distance runners employing 3 different methods of training-intensity quantification. Methods: A total of 14 highly trained middle-distance runners performed an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion to determine the heart rate (HR) and running speed corresponding to the ventilatory thresholds (gas-exchange threshold and respiratory-compensation threshold), as well as fixed rating of perceived exertion (RPE) values, which were used to demarcate 3 training-intensity zones. During the following 8 weeks, the TID (total and percentage of time spent in each training zone) of all running training sessions (N = 695) was quantified using continuous running speed, HR monitoring, and RPE. Results: Compared with the running-speed-derived TID (zone 1, 79.9% [7.3%]; zone 2, 5.3% [4.9%]; and zone 3, 14.7% [7.3%]), HR-demarcated TID (zone 1, 79.6% [7.2%]; zone 2, 17.0% [6.3%]; and zone 3, 3.4% [2.0%]) resulted in a substantially higher training time in zone 2 (effect size ± 95% confidence interval: -1.64 ± 0.53; P < .001) and lower training time in zone 3 (-1.59 ± 0.51; P < .001). RPE-derived TID (zone 1, 39.6% [8.4%]; zone 2, 31.9% [8.7%]; and zone 3, 28.5% [11.6%]) reduced time in zone 1 compared with both HR (-5.64 ± 1.40; P < .001) and running speed (-5.69 ± 1.9; P < .001), whereas time in RPE training zones 2 and 3 was substantially higher than both HR- and running-speed-derived zones. Conclusion: The results show that the method of training-intensity quantification substantially affects computation of TID.

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International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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15
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3
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© 2020 Human Kinetics. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
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Sports science and exercise
Medical physiology
Psychology
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Bellinger, P; Arnold, B; Minahan, C, Quantifying the training-intensity distribution in middle-distance runners: The influence of different methods of training-intensity quantification, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2020, 15 (3), pp. 319-323
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