Effects of 4 Weeks High-Intensity Training on Running and Cycling Performance in Well-Trained Triathletes

Milos Mallol*, Gaizka Mejuto, David Bentley, Lynda Norton, Jon Torres-Unda, Haritz Arrieta and Irati Otxoteko

Effects of 4 Weeks High-Intensity Training on Running and Cycling Performance in Well-Trained Triathletes.

The optimal training recipe for improvement in performance in each of the modes of swimming, cycling or running is one of the most important elements of competitive triathlon. Therefore the search for new training methods to achieve improved triathlon performance is of paramount significance for coaches and scientists. The running component of elite triathlon largely dictates overall race performance.

Short and long intervals at supramaximal and submaximal exercise intensities respectively, improved cycling physiology and performance.6,7 Lindsay et al8 concluded that, in competitive cyclists, a 4-week program of HIIT increased peak sustained power output and fatigue resistance by ~5% and significantly improved 40 km time trial performance. In contrast, Acevedo and Goldfarb found no improvement in VO2max in competitive long distance runners after 8 weeks of HIIT.9
However, 10 km race performance and time to fatigue did improve indicating that improvements in performance can be dependent of other variables in elite athletes.

Some authors have defined cross-training as a) the participation in an alternative training mode exclusive to the one normally used in competition b) combining an alternative training mode with task-specific training c) cross transfer of training effects from one sport to the other one.1,10 Several investigations have focused on cross-training transfer between swimming and
running.11-15 Millet et al1 found that swimming training did not provide additional beneficial adaptations for the other disciplines in triathlon. Hence, performance improvement in swimming would be due specifically to improved swim technique and propulsive efficiency in swimming

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2016; 3(1): 1-7. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-3-139