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Friday, February 14, 2014

Triathlon Research: Bike intervals to improve your run? {} Do compression socks work?

Couple of interesting articles I came across, and while no research article is perfect and can tell the whole story, these provide some interesting information:

European Journal of Sport 2013 Nov 9. (published online ahead of print)
High-intensity cycle interval training improves cycling and running performance in triathletes.
Etxebarria NAnson JMPyne DBFerguson RA.

Subjects:  14 moderately trained triathletes

Pre- and Post-Test: 
{1}  16 X 20sec bike sprints
{2}  1 hour bike time trial followed by a 5k run

Training Variable:
Subjects split into two groups; one group did 3 weeks of twice weekly SHORT intervals (9-11 X 10s, 20s, and 40s efforts) on the bike and the other had also 3 weeks of twice weekly LONG intervals (6-8 X 5min efforts) on the bike.

Results:
Both groups showed improvements in mean (average) power during the last 8 of the 16, 20sec cycle sprints.  they also had lower heart rate, perceived exertion, and blood lactate during the 1-hour bike time trial.  Only the LONG interval group showed substantial improvement in the 5k run following the bike.

Take-away:  Triathletes should add some long interval efforts to their training to help on the bike......and the run

*****
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2013 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print]
Compression stockings do not improve muscular performance during a half-ironman triathlon race.
Del Coso JAreces FSalinero JJGonzález-Millán CAbián-Vicén JSoriano LRuiz DGallo CLara BCalleja-Gonzalez J.

Subjects:
36 experienced triathletes

Training Variable:  Subjects split into two groups -- one that wore compression socks, and the other didn't for a half-iron distance event.

Pre- and Post-Test:  
{1} Numerous blood markers -- myoglobin and creatine kinase among others
{2} Jump height
{3}  Leg muscular power -- thru a counter-movement jump
{4}  Perceived exertion

Results:
There was not a significant difference between the groups for the blood markers, jump height, muscular power, or perceived exertion.

Take-Away:
Compression socks may not provide any benefit in maintaining muscle function in half-iron distance races

I have a pair of compression socks that I've worn for some long workouts, and while I didn't notice anything huge, I wondered if my feet were a little more comfortable in my shoes after a long run with them.

Anyone care to share their personal experience here?

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