Monitoring training to assess changes in fitness and fatigue: The effects of training in heat and hypoxia
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 2015, 25 (S1), pp. 287 - 295
- Issue Date:
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© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This study examined the association between monitoring tools, training loads, and performance in concurrent heat and hypoxia (H+H) compared with temperate training environments. A randomized parallel matched-group design involved 18 well-trained male cyclists. Participants performed 12 interval sessions (3 weeks) in either H+H (32±1°C, 50% RH, 16.6% O
2 normobaric hypoxia) or control (21°C, 50% RH, 21% O 2), followed by a seven-session taper (3 weeks; 21°C, 50% RH, 21% O 2), while also maintaining external training (∼6-10h/week). A 20-km time trial (TT) was completed pre- and post-training block (21°C, 50% RH, 21% O 2). Before each TT and once weekly, a 4-min cycle warm-up (70% 4-min mean maximum power) was completed. Visual analog scale rating for pain, recovery, and fatigue was recorded before the warm-up, with heart rate (HR Ex), heart rate recovery (HRR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE WU) recorded following. Training load was quantified using the session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) method throughout. Overall TT improved 35±47s with moderate correlations to HRR (r=0.49) and recovery (r=-0.55). H+H group had a likely greater reduction in HR Ex [ES=-0.50 (90% CL) (-0.88; 0.12)] throughout and a greater sRPE (ES=1.20 [0.41; 1.99]), and reduction in HRR [ES=-0.37 (-0.70;-0.04)] through the overload. RPE WU was associated with weekly training load (r=0.37). These findings suggest that recovery and HRR in a temperate environment may be used as simple measures to identify an athlete's readiness to perform. Alternatively, the relationship of RPE WU and training load suggests that perception of effort following a standardized warm-up may be a valid measure when monitoring an athlete's training response, irrespective of the training environment.
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