The reliability of 10 km treadmill time trial performance and the effect of different high intensity interval training strategies on 10 km running performance and associated physiological parameters

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The reliability and validity of a performance test is important in research to detect meaningful performance differences following an intervention. In accordance with this, the aim of the first study of this thesis was to investigate the reliability and validity of a self-paced 10 km treadmill time trial. This performance measure was then used in the main section of this thesis. This comprised a large training intervention study aimed to answer specific questions following three different high intensity interval training programmes. In particular, changes in 10 km running performance were investigated with respect to various physiological parameters, both immediately following the training intervention, as well as during a subsequent three-week taper period. Methods In the first study, a group of well-trained male runners (n = 8) completed four 10 km treadmill time trials and two 10 km track time trials. Comparisons in performance time were made between the 10 km treadmill time trials to determine the typical percent error between these trials. Additionally, comparisons were made between the track and treadmill time trials. In the second study, well-trained male runners(n = 32) were randomly assigned to one of four groups; a control group, a 400 m interval group, a 1600 m interval group and a mixed (400 m and 1600 m) interval group. The intensity of the intervals was based on the participants' current 10 km time trial time. The high intensity training interventions consisted of eight interval sessions (twice per week) over a four-week period followed by a three-week singlestep30% reduction in total training volume (while maintaining training frequency and some intensity) in all groups.