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Training-overtraining: influence of a defined increase in training volume vs training intensity on performance, catecholamines and some metabolic parameters in experienced middle- and long-distance runners

Summary

The influence of an increase in training volume (ITV; February 1989) vs intensity (ITI; February 1990) on performance, catecholamines, energy metabolism and serum lipids was examined in two studies on eight, and nine experienced middle- or long-distance runners; seven participated in both studies. During ITV, mean training volume was doubled from 85.9 km · week−1 (pretrial phase) to 174.6 km within 3 weeks. Some 96%–98% of the training was performed at 67 (SD 8)% of maximal performance. During ITI, speed-endurance, high-speed and interval runs increased within 3 weeks from 9 km · week−1 (pretrial phase) to 22.7 km · week−1 and the total training distance from 61.6 to 84.7 km · week−1. The ITV resulted in stagnation of running velocity at 4 mmol lactate concentration and a decrease in total running distance in the increment test. Heart rate, energy metabolic parameters, nocturnal urinary catecholamine excretion, low density, very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations decreased significantly; the exercise-related catecholamine plasma concentrations increased at an identical exercise intensity. The ITI produced an improvement in running velocity at 4 mmol lactate concentration and in total running distance in the increment test; heart rate, energy metabolic parameters, nocturnal catecholamine excretion, and serum lipids remained nearly constant, and the exercise-related plasma catecholamine concentrations decreased at an identical exercise intensity. The ITV-related changes in metabolism and catecholamines may have indicated an exhaustion syndrome in the majority of the athletes examined but this hypothesis has to be proven by future experimental studies.

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Correspondence to M. Lehmann.

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Lehmann, M., Baumgartl, P., Wiesenack, C. et al. Training-overtraining: influence of a defined increase in training volume vs training intensity on performance, catecholamines and some metabolic parameters in experienced middle- and long-distance runners. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 64, 169–177 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00717956

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Key words

  • Training
  • Overtraining
  • Catecholamines
  • Lipids
  • Energy metabolism