Comparison of Sprint Interval and Endurance Training in Team Sport Athletes

David T Kellt, Paul O'Connor

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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[Combining Dot Above]O2max) 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 6 sessions over 2 weeks. V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, muscle mitochondrial enzyme activity, running economy (RE), and high-intensity endurance capacity (HEC) were measured before and after training. An increase in V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (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[middle dot]h-1, lactate threshold and vV[Combining Dot Above]O2max were unchanged after both SIT and ET. Maximal activity of 3-[beta]-hydroxylacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase ([beta]-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
JournalThe Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research
StatePublished - 2018


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