RESEARCH: studies I shared this week: 28 November to 4 December 2022

All of the studies I've shared (~500 studies) are available on the RESOURCES PAGE.

INTERVALS: Performance and Submaximal Adaptations to Additional Speed-Endurance Training vs. Continuous Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Training in Male Endurance Athletes


  1. Endurance training is mostly based on high volumes with most of the time exercising at submaximal intensities.
  2. Twenty-four elite male endurance athletes were initially recruited for the study
  3. The inclusion was based on the following selection criteria: (a) national competitive standard with a central important endurance component; (b) injury-free during the last 3 months prior to the study; (c) V̇O2max >55 ml·min-1·kg-1, (d) competitive background of minimum 3 years; (e) male aged 18-25 yrs.
  4. Speed-endurance training (SET) and moderate-intensity training (MIT) were added to the participants’ regular training twice per week, always separated by two days.
  5. SET consisted of 6 to 12 reps of 30-s sprints at ~95% maximal effort (21-23 km·h-1) in each training session separated by 3-min rest intervals. The SET group performed 6 sprints during the 1st to the 3rd week, 9 sprints in the 4th to the 6th week, and 12 sprints in the 7th to the 10th week. The MIT group performed two weekly sessions of low-intensity continuous running at ~70% VO2max (based on baseline testing; ~11.5-12.0 km·h-1) during 20 to 40 min.
  6. In the present study, the SET group experienced large reductions in V̇O2 and V̇CO2 when running at 10 and 12 km·h-1.
  7. Taken together, our findings suggest that SET imposes greater physiological demands compared to continuous MIT in elite male endurance athletes. These demands seem to result in superior adaptations for endurance performance with a concurrently reduced EC during submaximal running.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY - include some speed-endurance training in your training plan to improve your performance. In this study the protocol was 6-12 x 30" @ 95% / 3' rest.

TRAINING: Interactions between monthly training volume, frequency and running distance per workout on marathon time


  1. This study attempted to clarify the relationships between marathon time and monthly training volume, training frequency and the longest (LRD) or average running distance per workout (ARD), as well as their interactions.
  2. We assessed age, running career, body height, body weight, body mass index (BMI), monthly training volume, training frequency, the LRD and the ARD. These indicators were each divided into 4 or 5 homogeneous subgroups to determine whether the other indicators in each subgroup predicted marathon time.
  3. In the training frequency subgroups, there were significant correlations between monthly training volume, the LRD or the ARD and marathon time, except for the subgroup that trained 2 times per week or less.
  4. In the ≥ 21 km LRD and ≥ 10 km ARD subgroups, there were significant correlations between monthly training volume and marathon time.
  5. These results indicate that monthly training volume is the most important factor in predicting marathon time and that the influence of monthly training volume is only significant if the running distance per workout exceeded a certain level.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY - greater training volume resulted in superior performance in recreational marathon runners.

PACING: Heart Rate Does Not Reflect the %VO2max in Recreational Runners during the Marathon


  1. Exercise physiologists and coaches prescribe heart rate zones (between 65 and 80% of maximal heart rate, HRmax) during a marathon because it supposedly represents specific metabolic zones and the percentage of V˙O2max below the lactate threshold.
  2. The present study tested the hypothesis that the heart rate does not reflect the oxygen uptake of recreational runners during a marathon and that this dissociation would be more pronounced in the lower performers’ group (>4 h).
  3. Two weeks later, the same subjects ran a marathon with the same device for measuring the gas exchanges and HR continuously.
  4. The %HRmax remained stable after the 5th km (between 88% and 91%), which was not significantly different from the %HRmax at the ventilatory threshold (89 ± 4% vs. 93 ± 6%).
  5. However, the %VO2max and percentage of the speed associated with VO2max decreased during the marathon (81 ± 5 to 74 ± 5 %V˙O2max and 72 ± 9 to 58 ± 14 %vV˙O2max).
  6. In conclusion, pacing during a marathon according to heart rate zones is not recommended.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY - "We recommend using RPE during the marathon, which is clearly a self-paced exercise for which the constant load or speed model cannot be applied. We recommend that the marathoners must maintain their effort at a certain RPE (13–14 on the Borg Scale)".

PSCYHOLOGY: The positive effects of focused attention on affective experience at high intensities


  1. The dual-mode theory suggests that the interaction of cognitive processes and interoceptive cues influence the affective response.
  2. Hence, attentional control in form of adopting an external or internal attentional focus could lead to different affective responses depending on intensity.
  3. While running at three intensities, they were instructed to focus on their breathing, on the environment, or did not receive an instruction. Dependent measures were affect, heart rate, and speed.
  4. The results revealed a significant interaction between attentional focus and intensity on affect.
  5. At subjectively perceived light intensity, participants’ affective outcomes benefit from non-focusing attention, whereas during hard intensity the opposite seems helpful: to focus on breathing or to the environment.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY - at low intensity it's ok not to focus (to listen to podcasts or music for example), but for higher intensity training, focus on internal cues or on the environment around you.

TRAINING: The Effects of Foam Rolling Training on Performance Parameters


  1. The objective of this systematic meta-analytical review was to quantify the effects of foam rolling (FR) training on performance.
  2. The meta-analysis found no significant difference between FR and control conditions. Analyses of the moderating variables showed no significant differences between randomized control vs. controlled trials and no relationship between ages, weeks of intervention, and total load of FR.
  3. In conclusion, there were no significant performance changes with FR training and no specific circumstances leading to performance changes following FR training exceeding two weeks.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY - this meta-analysis suggests that foam rolling does not help to improve performance.

PHYSIOLOGY: Complex Network Model Reveals the Impact of Inspiratory Muscle Pre-Activation


  1. This study aimed to understand the effects of inspiratory muscle pre-activation (IMPA) on high-intensity running and passive recovery.
  2. Fifteen male subjects were submitted to all-out 30 s tethered running efforts preceded or not preceded by IMPA, composed of 2 × 15 repetitions (1 min interval between them) at 40% of the maximum individual inspiratory pressure using a respiratory exercise device.
  3. During running and recovery, we monitored the physiological responses (heart rate, blood lactate, oxygen saturation) and muscle oxygenation (in vastus lateralis and biceps brachii) by wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
  4. The IMPA (40% of the maximum inspiratory pressure) was effective in increasing the peak and mean relative running power, and the analysis of the complex networks advanced the interpretation of the effects of physiological adjustments related to the IMPA on exercise and recovery.
  5. Our results suggest that this respiratory strategy enhances exercise, recovery and the multidimensional approach to understanding the effects of physiological adjustments on these conditions.

PRACTICAL TAKEAWAY - using inspiratory muscle training devices as an activation before training or racing may be beneficial.

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