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Article

Performance and Training Load Profiles in Recreational Male Trail Runners: Analyzing Their Interactions during Competitions

1
Faculty of Educational Sciences and Sports Sciences, University of Vigo, 36005 Pontevedra, Spain
2
Escola Superior Desporto e Lazer, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Álvares, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal
3
Douro Higher Institute of Educational Sciences, 4560-708 Penafiel, Portugal
4
Instituto de Telecomunicações, Delegação da Covilhã, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
5
Unidade de Investigação e Treino em Trabalhos em Alturas e Atividades de Ar Livre, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
6
The Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238902
Received: 22 October 2020 / Revised: 12 November 2020 / Accepted: 26 November 2020 / Published: 30 November 2020
Endurance sports like trail running constitute an extensive individual modality causing numerous physiological changes to occur in the athlete. In this sense, an adequate monitoring of training load appears to be essential to improve competition performance. The aim of this study was two-fold: (i) to analyze trail runners’ weekly load variations in the four weeks leading up to a trail running competition, and (ii) to determine the relationship between the runners’ pacing in competitions and their physical fitness and workload parameters. Twenty-five amateur male trail runners (age: 36.23 ± 8.30 years old; minimum International Trail Running Association performance index: 600) were monitored daily for the duration of a season (52 weeks). External load (distance covered, pace) and internal load (rate of perceived exertion) were measured daily. Additionally, weekly workload measures of acute:chronic workload ratio (ACWR), training monotony, and training strain were calculated. The runners were also assessed for maximal aerobic speed (MAS) every four months. No significant differences in workload measures (p > 0.05) were observed in the four weeks leading up to each short trail competition; however, leading up to the long trail, ultra-trail medium, and ultra-trail long/extra-long competitions, the differences in the runners’ workload measures were significant (p < 0.05). In the short trail, pace was found to be moderately correlated with the ACWR of total distance (r = −0.334) and with training monotony of rate of perceived exertion (RPE) (r = −0.303). In the ultra-trail, a large correlation was observed between pace and elevation accumulated (r = 0.677). We concluded that significant workload differences from one week to the next only occurred in preparation for longer-distance competitions, with sudden acute load decreases and very low ACWR values reported mainly in weeks 1 and 2 of the taper. Meaningful relationships were found between performance (pace) and MAS for longer trails and between pace and MAS for ultra-trail competitions. View Full-Text
Keywords: sports training; monitoring; endurance sports; trail running; periodization sports training; monitoring; endurance sports; trail running; periodization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Matos, S.; Clemente, F.M.; Silva, R.; Pereira, J.; Cancela Carral, J.M. Performance and Training Load Profiles in Recreational Male Trail Runners: Analyzing Their Interactions during Competitions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8902. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238902

AMA Style

Matos S, Clemente FM, Silva R, Pereira J, Cancela Carral JM. Performance and Training Load Profiles in Recreational Male Trail Runners: Analyzing Their Interactions during Competitions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8902. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238902

Chicago/Turabian Style

Matos, Sérgio, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Rui Silva, Joel Pereira, and José María Cancela Carral. 2020. "Performance and Training Load Profiles in Recreational Male Trail Runners: Analyzing Their Interactions during Competitions" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 23: 8902. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238902

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