Neuromuscular fatigue after long-duration adventure racing in adolescent athletes
Yoann M. Garnier
Anthony J. Blazevich, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
Pediatric Exercise Science
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Purpose: To characterize the acute effects of a long-duration adventure race on knee extensor (KE) fatigue and the knee functional ratio in adolescent athletes. Methods: Twenty trained male adolescents (aged 14-17 y) performed an adventure race of 68.5 km. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) KE and knee flexor torques were measured before and immediately after the race. Central and peripheral components of neuromuscular fatigue were quantified from the maximal voluntary activation level and the doublet peak torque (Tw100), respectively. The peak eccentric knee flexor torque to concentric KE torque ratio was also measured to determine functional ratio. Results: The race completion time was 05:38 (00:20) hours. Significant reductions in MVICKE (-14.7%, P < .001) and MVICKF (-17.0%, P < .01) were observed after the race. Voluntary activation level decreased by 8.3% (P < .001) while Tw100 remained unchanged. Peak eccentric knee flexor torque decreased 16.0% (P < .001) while peak concentric KE torque did not change. This resulted in a significant reduction in functional ratio (-12.0%, P < .01). Conclusion: The adventure race induced a moderate fatigue, which was mainly explained by central factors without significant peripheral fatigue. However, particular attention should be paid to the knee muscular imbalance incurred by the race, which could increase the risk of ligament injury in adolescent athletes.