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Effect of a 16-Day Altitude Training Camp on 3,000-m Steeplechase Running Energetics and Biomechanics: A Case Study

Abstract : The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a 16-day training camp at moderate altitude on running energetics and biomechanics in an elite female 3,000-m steeplechase athlete (personal best: 9 min 36.15 s). The 16-day intervention included living and training at 1,600 m altitude. A maximal incremental test was performed at sea level to determine the maximal oxygen uptake (VO 2 max). Before (pre-) and after (post-) intervention, the participant performed a specific training session consisting of 10 × 400 m with 5 hurdles with oxygen uptake (VO 2), blood lactate, stride length and stride rate being measured. A video analysis determined takeoff distance and landing around the hurdle (DT H and DL H), takeoff velocity and landing around the hurdle (VT H and VL H), and the maximal height over the hurdle (M H). The results demonstrated that the meanVO 2 maintained during the ten 400 m trials represented 84-86% ofVO 2 max and did not change from pre-to post-intervention (p = 0.22). Mean blood lactate measured on the 6 last 400-m efforts increased significantly (12.0 ± 2.2 vs. 17.0 ± 1.6 mmol.l −1 ; p < 0.05). On the other hand, post-intervention maximal lactate decreased from 20.1 to 16.0 mmol.l −1. Biomechanical analysis revealed that running velocity increased from 5.12 ± 0.16 to 5.49 ± 0.19 m.s −1 (p < 0.001), concomitantly with stride length (1.63 ± 0.05 vs. 1.73 ± 0.06 m; p < 0.001). However, stride rate did not change (3.15 ± 0.03 vs. 3.16 ± 0.02 Hz; p = 0.14). While DT H was not significantly different from pre-to post-(1.34 ± 0.08 vs. 1.40 ± 0.07 m; p = 0.09), DL H was significantly longer (1.17 ± 0.07 vs. 1.36 ± 0.05 m; p < 0.01). VT H and VL H significantly improved after intervention (5.00 ± 0.14 vs. 5.33 ± 0.16 m.s − 1 and 5.18 ± 0.13 vs. 5.51 ± 0.22 m.s −1 , respectively; both p < 0.01). Finally, M H increased from pre-to post-(52.5 ± 3.8 vs. 54.9 ± 2.1 cm; p < 0.05). A 16-day moderate altitude training camp allowed an elite female 3,000-m steeplechase athlete to improve running velocity through a greater glycolytic-but not aerobic-metabolism.
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Jean Slawinski, François Chiron, Benjamin Millot, Adrien Taouji, Franck Brocherie. Effect of a 16-Day Altitude Training Camp on 3,000-m Steeplechase Running Energetics and Biomechanics: A Case Study. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, Frontiers Media S.A., 2019, 1, pp.63. ⟨10.3389/fspor.2019.00063⟩. ⟨hal-02543770⟩

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