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Bird, Stephen. (2013). Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance: A Brief Review and Recommendations. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 35. 43-47.
Sleep has been identified as an important factor contributing to optimal athletic performance. However, the psychosociophysiological (psychological, social and physiological) stresses placed on elite athletes often results in an increased stress/fatigue state and presents a phenomenon which may result in an inability to gain appropriate sleep. Improving an athlete’s sleep hygiene is seen as a key strategy that could have powerful implications for athletic performance. Aside from direct physiological implications associated with improved sleep hygiene, an athlete’s sleep perception may influence psychological factors including confidence, anxiety and motivation, and thereby influence performance indirectly through such factors. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to (i) overview the impact of sleep on recovery and athletic performance; (ii) outline sleep hygiene strategies; and (iii) provide sleep recommendations for athletes and coaches. The sleep hygiene strategies presented in this paper represent a practical approach to improve sleep perception in elite athletes.
Esteve, Jonathan & Foster, Carl & Seiler, Stephen & Lucia, Alejandro. (2007). Impact of Training Intensity Distribution on Performance in Endurance Athletes. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 21. 943-9. 10.1519/R-19725.1.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of 2 training programs differing in the relative contribution of training volume, clearly below vs. within the lactate threshold/maximal lactate steady state region on performance in endurance runners. Twelve subelite endurance runners (who are specialists in track events, mostly the 5,000-m race usually held during spring-summer months and who also participate in cross-country races [9-12 km] during fall and winter months) were randomly assigned to a training program emphasizing low-intensity (subthreshold) (Z1) or moderately high-intensity (between thresholds) (Z2) training intensities. At the start of the study, the subjects performed a maximal exercise test to determine ventilatory (VT) and respiratory compensation thresholds (RCT), which allowed training to be controlled based on heart rate during each training session over a 5-month training period. Subjects performed a simulated 10.4-km cross-country race before and after the training period. Training was quantified based on the cumulative time spent in 3 intensity zones: zone 1 (low intensity; <VT), zone 2 (moderate intensity; between VT and RCT), and zone 3 (high intensity; >RCT). The contribution of total training time spent in zones 1 and 2 was controlled to have relatively more low-intensity training in Z1 (80.5 +/- 1.8% and 11.8 +/- 2.0%, respectively) than in Z2 (66.8 +/- 1.1% and 24.7 +/- 1.5%, respectively), whereas the contribution of high-intensity (zone 3) training was similar (8.3 +/- 0.7% [Z1] and 8.5 +/- 1.0% [Z2]). The magnitude of the improvement in running performance was significantly greater (p = 0.03) in Z1 (-157 +/- 13 seconds) than in Z2 (-121.5 +/- 7.1 seconds). These results provide experimental evidence supporting the value of a relatively large percentage of low-intensity training over a long period ( approximately 5 months), provided that the contribution of high-intensity training remains sufficient.
Hooper, Dr & Mackinnon, Laurel. (1995). Monitoring Overtraining in Athletes. Sports Medicine. 20. 10.2165/00007256-199520050-00003.
Sanders, Dajo & Heijboer, Mathieu. (2019). Physical Demands and Power Profile of Different Stage Types within a Cycling Grand Tour. European Journal of Sport Science. 19. 10.1080/17461391.2018.1554706.
This study aims to describe the intensity and load demands of different stage types within a cycling Grand Tour. Nine professional cyclists, whom are all part of the same World-Tour professional cycling team, participated in this investigation. Competition data were collected during the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Stages within the Grand Tour were classified into four categories: flat stages (FLAT), semi-mountainous stages (SMT), mountain stages (MT) and individual time trials (TT). Exercise intensity, measured with different heart rate and power output based variables, was highest in the TT compared to other stage types. During TT’s the main proportion of time was spent at the high-intensity zone, whilst the main proportion of time was spent at low intensity for the mass start stage types (FLAT, SMT, MT). Exercise load, quantified using Training Stress Score and Training Impulse, was highest in the mass start stage types with exercise load being highest in MT (329, 359 AU) followed by SMT (280, 311 AU) and FLAT (217, 298 AU). Substantial between-stage type differences were observed in maximal mean power outputs over different durations. FLAT and SMT were characterised by higher short-duration maximal power outputs (5–30 s for FLAT, 30 s–2 min for SMT) whilst TT and MT are characterised by high longer duration maximal power outputs (>10 min). The results of this study contribute to the growing body of evidence on the physical demands of stage types within a cycling Grand Tour.
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