Effects of a trail running competition on muscular performance and efficiency in well-trained young and master athletes

Abstract : To determine the acute effects of a trail running competition and the age-dependent differences between young and master athletes, 23 subjects [10 young (30.5 ± 7 years), 13 master (45.9 ± 5.9 years)] participated in a 55-km trail running competition. The study was conceived as an intervention study compromising pre, post 1, 24, 48 and 72 h measurements. Measurements consisted of blood tests, ergometer cycling and maximal isometric voluntary contractions (MVC). Parameters monitored included MVC, twitch-and M-wave properties, EMG (RMS) of the vastus lateralis, two locomotion efficiency calculations and muscle damage markers in the blood (CK, LDH). Results indicate post-race increases in CK and LDH, decreases in MVC values (-32 vs.-40% in young and master, P < 0.01), decreases in EMG, increases in contraction time and concomitant decreases in peak twitch values, and a decrease in locomotion efficiency (-4.6 vs.-6.3% in young and master, P < 0.05). Masters showed similar fatigue and muscle damage than young but recuperation was slowed in masters. This study shows that trail runs are detrimental to muscle function, and gives indication that training may not halt muscle deterioration through aging, but can help maintain performance level.
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Christopher Easthope Schmidt, Christophe Hausswirth, Julien Louis, Romuald Lepers, Fabrice Vercruyssen, et al.. Effects of a trail running competition on muscular performance and efficiency in well-trained young and master athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer Verlag, 2010, 110 (6), pp.1107 - 1116. ⟨hal-01762687⟩

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