Comparison of sprint interval and endurance training in team sport athletes

David T. Kelly, Críonna Tobin, Brendan Egan, Andrew McCarren, Paul L. O'Connor, Noel Mccaffrey, Niall M. Moyna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


High-volume endurance training (ET) has traditionally been used to improve aerobic capacity but is extremely time-consuming in contrast to low-volume short-duration sprint interval training (SIT) that improves maximal oxygen uptake (V O2 max) to a similar extent. Few studies have compared the effects of SIT vs. ET using running-based protocols, or in team sport athletes. Club level male Gaelic football players were randomly assigned to SIT (n = 7; 21.6 ± 2.1 years) or ET (n = 8; 21.9 ± 3.5 years) for ± sessions over 2 weeks. V O2 max, muscle mitochondrial enzyme activity, running economy (RE), and high-intensity endurance capacity (HEC) were measured before and after training. An increase in V O2 max (p ≤ 0.05) after 2 weeks of both SIT and ET was observed. Performance in HEC increased by 31.0 and 17.2% after SIT and ET, respectively (p ≤ 0.05). Running economy assessed at 8, 9, 10, and 11 km·h -1 , lactate threshold and vVO 2 max were unchanged after both SIT and ET. Maximal activity of 3-b-hydroxylacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (b-HAD) was increased in response to both SIT and ET (p ≤ 0.05), whereas the maximal activity of citrate synthase remained unchanged after training (p = 0.07). A running-based protocol of SIT is a time-efficient training method for improving aerobic capacity and HEC, and maintaining indices of RE and lactate threshold in team sport athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3051-3058
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2018


  • Gaelic football
  • Maximal oxygen uptake
  • Mitochondrial enzyme activity
  • Running


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