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Oxygen uptake during high-intensity running: response following a single bout of interval training


Elevated oxygen uptake (O2) during moderate-intensity running following a bout of interval running training has been studied previously. To further investigate this phenomenon, the O2 response to high-intensity exercise was examined following a bout of interval running. Well-trained endurance runners were split into an experimental group [maximum oxygen uptake, O2 max 4.73 (0.39) l · min−1] and a reliability group [O2 max 4.77 (0.26) l · min−1]. The experimental group completed a training session (4 × 800 m at 1 km · h−1 below speed at O2 max , with 3 min rest between each 800-m interval). Five minutes prior to, and 1 h following the training session, subjects completed 6 min 30 s of constant speed, high-intensity running designed to elicit 40% Δ (where Δ is the difference between O2 at ventilatory threshold and O2 max ; tests 1 and 2, respectively). The slow component of O2 kinetics was quantified as the difference between the O2 at 6 min and the O2 at 3 min of exercise, i.e. ΔO2(63). The ΔO2(63) was the same in two identical conditions in the reliability group [mean (SD): 0.30 (0.10) l · min−1 vs 0.32 (0.13) l · min−1]. In the experimental group, the magnitude of the slow component of O2 kinetics was increased in test 2 compared with test 1 by 24.9% [0.27 (0.14) l · min−1 vs 0.34 (0.08) l · min−1, P < 0.05]. The increase in ΔO2(63) in the experimental group was observed in the absence of any significant change in body mass, core temperature or blood lactate concentration, either at the start or end of tests 1 or 2. It is concluded that similar mechanisms may be responsible for the slow component of O2 kinetics and for the fatigue following the training session. It has been suggested previously that this mechanism may be linked primarily to changes within the active limb, with the recruitment of alternative and/or additional less efficient fibres.

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Accepted: 9 September 1998

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James, D., Doust, J. Oxygen uptake during high-intensity running: response following a single bout of interval training. Eur J Appl Physiol 79, 237–243 (1999).

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  • Key words Oxygen uptake
  • Running
  • Training
  • Fatigue