Interval training at 95% and 100% of the velocity at VO2 max: effects on aerobic physiological indexes and running performance
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The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of two different high-intensity interval training (HIT) programs on selected aerobic physiological indices and 1500 and 5000 m running performance in well-trained runners. The following tests were completed (n = 17): (i) incremental treadmill test to determine maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), running velocity associated with VO2 max (VVO2max), and the velocity corresponding to 3.5 mmol/L of blood lactate concentration (vOBLA); (ii) submaximal constant-intensity test to determine running economy (RE); and (iii) 1500 and 5000 m time trials on a 400 m track. Runners were then randomized into 95% vVO(2max) or 100% vVO(2max) groups, and undertook a 4 week training program consisting of 2 HIT sessions (performed at 95% or 100% vVO(2max), respectively) and 4 submaximal run sessions per week. Runners were retested on all parameters at the completion of the training program. The VO2 max values were not different after training for both groups. There was a significant increase in post-training vVO(2 max), RE, and 1500 in running performance in the 100% vVO(2 max) group. The vOBLA and 5000 m running performance were significantly higher after the training period for both groups. We conclude that vOBLA and 5000 m running performance can be significantly improved in well-trained runners using a 4 week training program consisting of 2 HIT sessions (performed at 95% or 100% vVO(2max)) and 4 submaximal run sessions per week. However, the improvement in vVO(2 max), RE, and 1500 in running performance seems to be dependent on the HIT program at 100% vVO(2 max).