School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study analyzed the influence of a 4-week high-intensity interval training on the pacing strategy adopted by runners during a 5-km running trial. Sixteen male recreational long-distance runners were randomly assigned to a control group (CON, n=8) or a high-intensity interval training group (HIIT, n=8). The HIIT group performed high-intensity interval-training twice per week, while the CON group maintained their regular training program. Before and after the training period, the runners performed an incremental exercise test to exhaustion to measure the onset of blood lactate accumulation, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), and peak treadmill speed (PTS). A submaximal constant-speed test to measure the running economy (RE) and a 5-km running trial on an outdoor track to establish pacing strategy and performance were also done. During the 5-km running trial, the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and time to cover the 5-km trial (T5) were registered. After the training period, there were significant improvements in the HIIT group of ∼7 and 5% for RE (P=0.012) and PTS (P=0.019), respectively. There was no significant difference between the groups for VO2max (P=0.495) or onset of blood lactate accumulation (P=0.101). No difference was found in the parameters measured during the 5-km trial before the training period between HIIT and CON (P>0.05). These findings suggest that 4 weeks of HIIT can improve some traditional physiological variables related to endurance performance (RE and PTS), but it does not alter the perception of effort, pacing strategy, or overall performance during a 5-km running trial.
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