Alcevedo, E. O., & Goldfarb, A. H. (1989). Increased training intensity effects on plasma lactate, ventilatory threshold, and endurance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 21, 563-568.
Eight males who normally trained 50 to 65 miles per week were subjected to eight weeks of increased training intensity. Heart rates were increased to 90 to 95 percent of maximum by completing one day of interval training. On each of three other days fartlek training of 8 to 12 miles that required a similar effort intensity was performed. The remaining training bouts maintained the previous intensities and distances.
There was no change in VO2max, ventilatory threshold, or lactic acid measures at 65, 70, 75, or 80 percent of VO2max exercise intensities. The training alteration produced significant decreases in lactic acid at 85 and 90 percent of VO2max as well as performance time for a 10 kilometer run.
These results showed that in trained athletes, training effects will be specific. The increased intensity better matched the performance attributes associated with maintaining 85 to 90 percent of VO2max and the speed required to run a maximum effort 10 kilometer event. These changes were associated with specific performance parameters and not the general measure of aerobic capacity (VO2max) or lowered training intensities. Lactic acid improvements only occurred at the experimental training intensity. Physiologically this means that high intensity glycolytic training does not alter glycolytic activity at lower training intensities. Thus, when an athlete is in a highly trained state, performances will reflect the type of training that has been done. To produce best performances, training intensities have to be equal to those which will be attempted in the competition.
Implication. All training that attempts to increase racing level endurance capacity should replicate the level of aerobic demand that is race specific. Training below racing-level aerobic demands does not serve as a race performance enhancement stimulus. The practice of training at various percentages of race pace intensities would seem to have no specific transfer benefits to racing. Work intensities and paces that exceed those required in a race also have been shown to have little beneficial carry-over to racing.
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