Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners

Peter A. Fricker, David B Pyne, Philo U Saunders, Amanda J Cox, Maree Gleeson, Richard D. Telford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate relationships between training mileage and intensity, and the type, incidence, severity, and duration of respiratory illness in distance runners, and the impact of illness on submaximal and maximal running performance.

DESIGN: A longitudinal observational study of distance runners with serial monitoring of training loads and clinical patterns of illness.

SETTING: A 4-month winter training period in the Southern Hemisphere.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 20 highly trained (elite) male middle-distance and distance runners competing at the national and international levels.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Training was quantified by mileage (km), intensity (scale, 1-5), and load (volume x intensity). Symptoms and signs of respiratory illness (type, duration, and severity) were verified by a physician at a weekly review. Performance was monitored by measuring submaximal and maximal oxygen uptake and time to exhaustion on a incremental treadmill test.

RESULTS: A majority of subjects (15/20) experienced 1 or more episodes of respiratory illness (mean, 2.5 episodes; range, 1-5), with 79% of symptoms classified as upper respiratory in origin. There were no significant differences in mean weekly mileage (P = 0.43), training intensity (P = 0.85), or training load (P = 0.45) between healthy runners and those affected by illness. Mean weekly (88 +/- 46 km) and mean monthly (373 +/- 163 km) mileages prior to each episode of illness were similar to the overall study means (95.5 +/- 36.4 km and 382 +/- 146 km). There were no substantial relationships between mean weekly training mileage, intensity, or training load and the number of illnesses reported (all r < 0.20). Neither submaximal nor maximal running performance was significantly affected by the presence of illness.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in training mileage, intensity, and load were not associated with the incidence of respiratory illness in highly trained middle-distance and distance runners. Runners with mild illness can be reassured that symptoms will not necessarily impair submaximal and maximal performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-52
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Volume15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

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Respiratory Signs and Symptoms
Incidence
Exercise Test
Observational Studies
Longitudinal Studies
Oxygen
Physicians

Cite this

Fricker, P. A., Pyne, D. B., Saunders, P. U., Cox, A. J., Gleeson, M., & Telford, R. D. (2005). Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 15(4), 246-52.
Fricker, Peter A. ; Pyne, David B ; Saunders, Philo U ; Cox, Amanda J ; Gleeson, Maree ; Telford, Richard D. / Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners. In: Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2005 ; Vol. 15, No. 4. pp. 246-52.
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Fricker, PA, Pyne, DB, Saunders, PU, Cox, AJ, Gleeson, M & Telford, RD 2005, 'Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners', Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 246-52.

Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners. / Fricker, Peter A.; Pyne, David B; Saunders, Philo U; Cox, Amanda J; Gleeson, Maree; Telford, Richard D.

In: Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 4, 07.2005, p. 246-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners

AU - Fricker, Peter A.

AU - Pyne, David B

AU - Saunders, Philo U

AU - Cox, Amanda J

AU - Gleeson, Maree

AU - Telford, Richard D.

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N2 - OBJECTIVE: To investigate relationships between training mileage and intensity, and the type, incidence, severity, and duration of respiratory illness in distance runners, and the impact of illness on submaximal and maximal running performance.DESIGN: A longitudinal observational study of distance runners with serial monitoring of training loads and clinical patterns of illness.SETTING: A 4-month winter training period in the Southern Hemisphere.PARTICIPANTS: A total of 20 highly trained (elite) male middle-distance and distance runners competing at the national and international levels.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Training was quantified by mileage (km), intensity (scale, 1-5), and load (volume x intensity). Symptoms and signs of respiratory illness (type, duration, and severity) were verified by a physician at a weekly review. Performance was monitored by measuring submaximal and maximal oxygen uptake and time to exhaustion on a incremental treadmill test.RESULTS: A majority of subjects (15/20) experienced 1 or more episodes of respiratory illness (mean, 2.5 episodes; range, 1-5), with 79% of symptoms classified as upper respiratory in origin. There were no significant differences in mean weekly mileage (P = 0.43), training intensity (P = 0.85), or training load (P = 0.45) between healthy runners and those affected by illness. Mean weekly (88 +/- 46 km) and mean monthly (373 +/- 163 km) mileages prior to each episode of illness were similar to the overall study means (95.5 +/- 36.4 km and 382 +/- 146 km). There were no substantial relationships between mean weekly training mileage, intensity, or training load and the number of illnesses reported (all r < 0.20). Neither submaximal nor maximal running performance was significantly affected by the presence of illness.CONCLUSIONS: Differences in training mileage, intensity, and load were not associated with the incidence of respiratory illness in highly trained middle-distance and distance runners. Runners with mild illness can be reassured that symptoms will not necessarily impair submaximal and maximal performance.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To investigate relationships between training mileage and intensity, and the type, incidence, severity, and duration of respiratory illness in distance runners, and the impact of illness on submaximal and maximal running performance.DESIGN: A longitudinal observational study of distance runners with serial monitoring of training loads and clinical patterns of illness.SETTING: A 4-month winter training period in the Southern Hemisphere.PARTICIPANTS: A total of 20 highly trained (elite) male middle-distance and distance runners competing at the national and international levels.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Training was quantified by mileage (km), intensity (scale, 1-5), and load (volume x intensity). Symptoms and signs of respiratory illness (type, duration, and severity) were verified by a physician at a weekly review. Performance was monitored by measuring submaximal and maximal oxygen uptake and time to exhaustion on a incremental treadmill test.RESULTS: A majority of subjects (15/20) experienced 1 or more episodes of respiratory illness (mean, 2.5 episodes; range, 1-5), with 79% of symptoms classified as upper respiratory in origin. There were no significant differences in mean weekly mileage (P = 0.43), training intensity (P = 0.85), or training load (P = 0.45) between healthy runners and those affected by illness. Mean weekly (88 +/- 46 km) and mean monthly (373 +/- 163 km) mileages prior to each episode of illness were similar to the overall study means (95.5 +/- 36.4 km and 382 +/- 146 km). There were no substantial relationships between mean weekly training mileage, intensity, or training load and the number of illnesses reported (all r < 0.20). Neither submaximal nor maximal running performance was significantly affected by the presence of illness.CONCLUSIONS: Differences in training mileage, intensity, and load were not associated with the incidence of respiratory illness in highly trained middle-distance and distance runners. Runners with mild illness can be reassured that symptoms will not necessarily impair submaximal and maximal performance.

KW - Adult

KW - Cost of Illness

KW - Humans

KW - Longitudinal Studies

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KW - New South Wales

KW - Respiratory Tract Diseases

KW - Running

KW - Task Performance and Analysis

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VL - 15

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JO - Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine

JF - Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine

SN - 1050-642X

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Fricker PA, Pyne DB, Saunders PU, Cox AJ, Gleeson M, Telford RD. Influence of training loads on patterns of illness in elite distance runners. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2005 Jul;15(4):246-52.