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Int J Sports Med. 2002 Jul;23(5):336-41.

Effect of training on the physiological factors of performance in elite marathon runners (males and females).

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Faculty of Sport Science, University of Lille, France.


This study examined the effect of 8 weeks of specific marathon training before the Olympic trials on the physiological factors of the marathon performance in top-class marathon runners. Five males and four females, age 34 +/- 6 yr (+/- SD) with a marathon performance time of 2 h 11 min 40 s +/- 2 min 27 s for males and 2 h 35 min 34 s +/- 2 min 54 s for females, performed one test ten and two weeks before the trials. Between this period they trained weekly 180 +/- 27 km and 155 +/- 19 km with 11 +/- 7 and 7 +/- 0% of this distance at velocity over 10000 m for males and females, respectively. The purpose of this test was to determine in real conditions i. e. on level road: VO2 peak, the energy cost of running and the fractional utilisation of VO2 peak at the marathon velocity (vMarathon). They ran 10 km at the speed of their personal best marathon performance on a level road and after a rest of 6 min they ran an all-out 1000 m run. VO2 peak increased after the 8 weeks of pre-competitive training (66.3 +/- 9.2 vs 69.9 +/- 9.4 ml x min(-1) x kg(-1), p = 0.01). Moreover, since the oxygen cost of running at vMarathon did not change after this training, the fractional utilization (F) of VO2 peak during the 10 km run at vMarathon decreased significantly after training (94.6 +/- 6.2% VO2 peak vs 90.3 +/- 9.5% VO2 peak, p = 0.04). The high intensity of pre-competitive training increased VO2 peak and did not change the running economy at vMarathon and decreased the fractional utilization of VO2 peak at vMarathon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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