European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 310–316 | Cite as

Applying a mathematical model to training adaptation in a distance runner

  • Rachel Elise WoodEmail author
  • Scott Hayter
  • David Rowbottom
  • Ian Stewart
Original Article


This study investigated physiological and psychological correlates of the positive and negative components of a systems model in a well-trained male middle-distance runner. In the systems model, performance at any given point in time is seen as the difference between two antagonistic components, fitness and fatigue, which represent the positive and negative adaptation to training, respectively. Each component comprises a set of parameters unique to the individual, which were estimated by fitting model-predicted performance to performance measured weekly throughout a 12-week training period. The model fitness component was correlated with extrapolated VO2max (−1.min−1), running economy (RE) (VO2 at 17 km.h−1), and running speed (km.h-1) at ventilatory threshold (VTRS). The model fatigue component was correlated with the fatigue subset of the profile of mood states (POMS). The fit between model and actual performance was significant (r2=0.92, P< 0.01). In the case of fitness, both VTRS (r=0.94, P=0.0001) and RE (r=−0.61, P=0.04) were significantly correlated with the model fitness component. There was also a moderate correlation between the fatigue subset of the POMS and the fatigue component (r=0.75, p< 0.05). In summary, this is the first time VTRS and the POMS have been used in an attempt to validate the model components. The findings of the present study support previous validation attempts using biochemical and hormonal markers of fitness and fatigue.


Mathematical model Adaptation Fitness Fatigue Performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Elise Wood
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott Hayter
    • 1
  • David Rowbottom
    • 1
  • Ian Stewart
    • 1
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia

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