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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1998 Sep;38(3):188-93.

Monitoring intensive endurance training at moderate energetic demands using resting laboratory markers failed to recognize an early overtraining stage.

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Department of Sports Medicine, University Medical Clinic, Ulm, Germany.



Aim was to answer the question whether resting laboratory parameters are suitable for monitoring intensive endurance training at moderate energetic demands. This was designed since markers of overtraining at high energetic demands, e.g. mild anemia, leukopenia, iron deficiency, reduced serum albumin, glucose, triglyceride, triglyceride-rich cholesterol (LDL, VLDL), free fatty acid, increased plasma noradrenaline levels, and decreased basal catecholamine excretions were recommended.


A prospective 6-wk, 6-dys/wk intensive steady state and interval cycle ergometer training of 40-60 min/dy was performed. Total load was about 6-time pretraining activities followed by a 2-wk, 2-hour/wk regenerative training period. Six recreational athletes (VO2max 51.5 +/- 4.5 participated and finished the study. A large pattern of resting hematological, blood-chemical, and hormonal parameters was tested regarding suitability for monitoring overtraining.


After 3 wks, submaximum and maximum performance were significantly increased, stopped improving between wk 3 and 6, or deteriorated. No supercompensation occurred after regeneration, but a decrease in work output. Lack of progression and supercompensation, and decreased maximum work output indicate a critical stage in the training process.


All examined resting laboratory parameters failed to reflect this critical stage except for a significant decrease in serum glucose, ferritin, and free fatty acid concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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