Houmard, J. A., Costill, D. L., Mitchell, J. B., Park, S. H., Hickner, R. C., & Roemmich, J. N. (1990). Reduced training maintains performance in distance runners. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 11, 46-52.

Trained runners (N = 10) were monitored for four weeks to establish a baseline for normal responses to typical training. Training volume was reduced by 60% (60 to 24 km) and sessions by 17% (6 to 5 sessions). The proportions of moderate and fast work remained the same. Weekly 5 km races on an indoor track were conducted.

Results. No significant differences occurred in body weight, % body fat, overall 5 km race times, VO2max, or muscular power. Submaximal effort physiological indices did not change. Time to exhaustion in the VO2max test was shortened (9.5%) and HRmax increased (4 bpm).

Implication. A reduced training load did not affect racing performance in well-trained runners.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.