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MANAGING TRAINING LOAD FOR HIGH LEVEL PERFORMANCE 
Yann LE MEUR1 
1 French Institute of Sport, Paris, France 
Consejo Supe...
Per week 
5x Swimming 
7x Cycling 
7x Running 
2x S&C 
By Malcolm Brown 
Leeds Metropolitan University
… but how hard ?
TRAINING 
RECOVERY 
COACH
THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF FATIGUE 
❺ NON FUNCTIONAL 
OVERREACHING 
❻ OVERTRAINING 
SYNDROME 
❷ MODERATE FATIGUE 
❶ NO FATIGU...
Train hard or go home! 
ACUTE FATIGUE 
 High perceived fatigue 
 No performance decrement after a 24/36h rest period, 
...
Train hard or go home! 
 Very high perceived fatigue 
 Short-term performance decrement, 
 Performance restoration take...
Train hard or go home! 
 Very intense perceived fatigue 
 Short-term decrement in performance capacity (< 1 month), 
 P...
Train hard or go home! 
… 
 Very intense perceived fatigue 
 Long-term performance decrement (> 1 month) 
THE OVERTRAINI...
WHICH STRATEGY TO CHOOSE? 
❸ ACUTE FATIGUE 
❹ FUNCTIONAL 
OVERREACHING 
❺ NON FUNCTIONAL 
OVERREACHING 
❻ OVERTRAINING 
SY...
F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY? 
Multistage fitness test
F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
1. To examine whether the development of a functional overreaching state leads to greater performance supercompensation in...
2. To better understand the potential factors associated with the functional overreaching development, including: 
 the p...
PROTOCOL
Phase III 
(3 weeks) 
TRAINING LOAD (% habitual load) 
100% 
60% 
130% 
Control group (n = 12) 
Phase II 
(1 week) 
Simula...
Puissance (W) 
100W 
+25W par 2min 
 36h rest period before each test 
 Same day, same hour 
 Controlled diet during th...
7 subjects did not follow the prescribed training due to injury or personal obligations 
 Control group: n = 10 
 Overlo...
TRAINING LOAD (% habitual load) 
Overloading 
100% 
60% 
130% 
Phase I (3 weeks) 
Phase II 
(1 week) 
Phase III (3 weeks) ...
• HIGH PERCEIVED FATIGUE 
• PRESERVED & ENHANCED PERFORMANCE 
• VERY HIGH PERCEIVED FATIGUE 
• DECREASED PERFORMANCE 
ACUT...
Control group n = 12 
Overload group n = 28 
Control group 
n = 10 
Acute Fatigue 
n = 12 
F-OR group 
n = 11 
2 out 
5 ou...
††† 
††† ## 
†# 
†† 
† 
* vs. Pre # vs. CTL † vs. F-OR 
THE PERFORMANCE REBOUND 
-4 
-2 
0 
2 
4 
6 
8 
Pre 
Post 
T1 
T2 ...
* vs. Pre # vs. CTL † vs. F-OR 
10 ± 7W 
18 ± 8W 
9 ± 4W 
THE PERFORMANCE REBOUND
Train hard or go home! 
Acute fatigue 
Functional overreaching 
Control 
Δ? 
PEAKING PERFORMANCE
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
Post 
T1 
T2 
T3 
T4 
Occurrence of peak performance 
(nb/week) 
Control 
Acute Fatigue 
F-Over...
Age 
Height (cm) 
Weight (kg) 
MAP (W) 
VO2max (mLO2/ 
min/kg) 
Weekly training characteristics 
Endurance sports experien...
SO LET’S GO A LITTLE BIT FURTHER!
Oxygen uptake 
Ventilatory parameters 
Cardiac output 
Blood lactate concentration 
Plasmatic catecholamines concentration...
* Different from Pre, p < 0.05 
4100 
4200 
4300 
4400 
4500 
4600 
4700 
Control 
Acute Fatigue 
F - Overreaching 
Maxima...
Different from Pre, p < 0.05; † Different from Post, p < 0.05 
AN ALTERED CARDIAC RESPONSE 
Le Meur et al. JAP 2014
AN ALTERED CARDIAC RESPONSE 
Different from Pre, p < 0.05; † Different from Post, p < 0.05
Different from Pre, p < 0.05 † Different from Post, p < 0.05 
CATECHOLAMINES RESPONSE 
Le Meur et al. JAP 2014
QUESTIONNAIRES 
Health monitoring questionnaire (URTI & GI infections symptoms)
Hausswirth et al. MSSE 2014 
Phase 
Baseline 
Overload 
Taper 
TOTAL 
Week number 
I 
II 
III 
IV 
V 
VI 
VII 
VIII 
CTL 
...
Hausswirth et al. MSSE 2014 
 No significant change in the AF and CTL groups. 
F-OR group: decrease in actual sleep dura...
Training overload leading to functional overreaching may induce higher risk of training maladaptations, including: 
o incr...
CONCLUSION #1 
This study showed that: 
 greater gains in performance and VO2max occur when the habitual training load in...
 Further studies are needed to confirm these findings using longitudinal monitoring of elite athletes. 
PERSPECTIVES
Inigo MUJIKA ~100 international publications 5 books World-recognized expert on training periodization Past experiences: A...
FOCUS ON A CASE STUDY 
Mujika et al. IJSPP 2014
… but how hard ?
HOW DO YOU MANAGE TRAINING LOAD? 
Mujika et al. IJSPP 2014 
• The content of each training session is determined according...
DO IT SIMPLE… BUT DO IT WELL! 
MONITOR PERFORMANCE & QUANTIFY TRAINING LOAD 
DEMONSTRATE EMPATHY & ACCEPT TO REGULATE 
+ 
...
TRAINING LOAD (% habitual load) 
100% 
60% 
130% 
Control group (n = 8) 
Pre 
Phase III (3 weeks) 
Phase II 
(1 week) 
Pha...
Psychological parameters 
Physiological parameters 
Cognitive performance 
Kinetic & Kinematic parameters 
Le Meur et al. ...
Measured parameters 
Le Meur et al. JAP 2013
-4 
-3 
-2 
-1 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
-6 
-4 
-2 
0 
2 
4 
6 
Discriminant Function 2 
Discriminant Function1 BENEFITS OF A MULTI...
HEART RATE AT EXERCISE 
Le Meur et al. MSSE 2013 
HR monitoring may help to diagnose functional overreaching
> 3 weeks 
performance baseline 
… 
> One month 
performance baseline 
Matos et al. MSSE 2011 
TRAINING LOAD IS NOT THE ON...
Matos et al. MSSE 2011 OTHER MARKERS TO DIAGNOSE EXCESSIVE FATIGUE?
Matos et al. MSSE 2011 
OTHER FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAINING MALADAPTATIONS
Matos et al. MSSE 2011 
OTHER FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAINING MALADAPTATIONS
TAKE HOME MESSAGES 
 Overload periods are essential for performance enhancement; 
 Tapering is critical for the supercom...
Anaël AUBRY 
PhD student 
INSEP 
Julien LOUIS, PhD 
Sport scientist 
INSEP 
Christophe HAUSSWIRTH, PhD 
Head of Research D...
@YLMSportScience 
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION
Managing training load for sport performance [le meur madrid 2014]
Managing training load for sport performance [le meur madrid 2014]
Managing training load for sport performance [le meur madrid 2014]
Managing training load for sport performance [le meur madrid 2014]
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Managing training load for sport performance [le meur madrid 2014]

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Managing training load for sport performance [le meur madrid 2014]

  1. 1. MANAGING TRAINING LOAD FOR HIGH LEVEL PERFORMANCE Yann LE MEUR1 1 French Institute of Sport, Paris, France Consejo Superior de Deportes CAR Madrid, 13th October 2014 @YLMSportScience
  2. 2. Per week 5x Swimming 7x Cycling 7x Running 2x S&C By Malcolm Brown Leeds Metropolitan University
  3. 3. … but how hard ?
  4. 4. TRAINING RECOVERY COACH
  5. 5. THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF FATIGUE ❺ NON FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING ❻ OVERTRAINING SYNDROME ❷ MODERATE FATIGUE ❶ NO FATIGUE ❸ ACUTE FATIGUE ❹ FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING Meeusen et al. MSSE 2013
  6. 6. Train hard or go home! ACUTE FATIGUE  High perceived fatigue  No performance decrement after a 24/36h rest period,  Performance supercompensation 24/36h performance baseline THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF FATIGUE
  7. 7. Train hard or go home!  Very high perceived fatigue  Short-term performance decrement,  Performance restoration takes from several days to several weeks,  Performance supercompensation FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING Several days to several weeks performance baseline THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF FATIGUE
  8. 8. Train hard or go home!  Very intense perceived fatigue  Short-term decrement in performance capacity (< 1 month),  Performance restoration…  … with no performance supercompensation NON FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING Several weeks performance baseline THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF FATIGUE
  9. 9. Train hard or go home! …  Very intense perceived fatigue  Long-term performance decrement (> 1 month) THE OVERTRAINING SYNDROME > One month performance baseline THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF FATIGUE
  10. 10. WHICH STRATEGY TO CHOOSE? ❸ ACUTE FATIGUE ❹ FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING ❺ NON FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING ❻ OVERTRAINING SYNDROME Meeusen et al. MSSE 2013 ❷ MODERATE FATIGUE ❶ NO FATIGUE
  11. 11. F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
  12. 12. F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
  13. 13. F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
  14. 14. F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY? Multistage fitness test
  15. 15. F-OR: THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY?
  16. 16. 1. To examine whether the development of a functional overreaching state leads to greater performance supercompensation in comparison to acute fatigue strategy ? OBJECTIVES
  17. 17. 2. To better understand the potential factors associated with the functional overreaching development, including:  the physiological & psychological responses,  behavioral response,  and health. OBJECTIVES
  18. 18. PROTOCOL
  19. 19. Phase III (3 weeks) TRAINING LOAD (% habitual load) 100% 60% 130% Control group (n = 12) Phase II (1 week) Simulated Taper (4 weeks) Pre Phase I (3 weeks) Post T1 T2 T3 T4 Overloading 100% 60% 130% Phase I (3 weeks) Phase II (1week) Overload training group (n = 28) Simulated Taper (4 weeks) Post T1 T2 T3 T4 Pre STUDY DESIGN Phase III (3 weeks) Aubry et al. MSSE 2014
  20. 20. Puissance (W) 100W +25W par 2min  36h rest period before each test  Same day, same hour  Controlled diet during the last 48h  Hydration guidelines EXERCISE TEST
  21. 21. 7 subjects did not follow the prescribed training due to injury or personal obligations  Control group: n = 10  Overload group: n = 23 ADHERENCE TO THE TRAINING PROTOCOL
  22. 22. TRAINING LOAD (% habitual load) Overloading 100% 60% 130% Phase I (3 weeks) Phase II (1 week) Phase III (3 weeks) Overload training group (n = 23) Simulated Taper (4 weeks) Post T1 T2 T3 T4 Pre STUDY DESIGN
  23. 23. • HIGH PERCEIVED FATIGUE • PRESERVED & ENHANCED PERFORMANCE • VERY HIGH PERCEIVED FATIGUE • DECREASED PERFORMANCE ACUTE FATIGUE n = 12 FUNCTIONAL OVERREACHING n = 11 THE OVERLOAD GROUP
  24. 24. Control group n = 12 Overload group n = 28 Control group n = 10 Acute Fatigue n = 12 F-OR group n = 11 2 out 5 out THREE GROUPS
  25. 25. ††† ††† ## †# †† † * vs. Pre # vs. CTL † vs. F-OR THE PERFORMANCE REBOUND -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 Pre Post T1 T2 T3 T4 Performance change (% Pre) Control Acute Fatigue Functional overreaching Aubry et al. MSSE 2014
  26. 26. * vs. Pre # vs. CTL † vs. F-OR 10 ± 7W 18 ± 8W 9 ± 4W THE PERFORMANCE REBOUND
  27. 27. Train hard or go home! Acute fatigue Functional overreaching Control Δ? PEAKING PERFORMANCE
  28. 28. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Post T1 T2 T3 T4 Occurrence of peak performance (nb/week) Control Acute Fatigue F-Overreaching Ø 75% of peak performances within the two first weeks PEAKING PERFORMANCE Aubry et al. MSSE 2014
  29. 29. Age Height (cm) Weight (kg) MAP (W) VO2max (mLO2/ min/kg) Weekly training characteristics Endurance sports experience (years) Volume (h) Distribution of intensity in Z1, 2 and 3 (%) Nb of swim/ cycle/ run sessions Control 37 183 75 355 58 12 62/30/8 3/3/3 13 Acute Fatigue 33 179 74 354 59 13 65/26/9 3/3/3 15 Functional Overreaching 36 180 73 369 61 14 64/30/7 3/5/3 12 No significant difference between groups at baseline SUBJECTS &TRAINING CHARACTERISTICS
  30. 30. SO LET’S GO A LITTLE BIT FURTHER!
  31. 31. Oxygen uptake Ventilatory parameters Cardiac output Blood lactate concentration Plasmatic catecholamines concentration Arterial blood pressures PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSE Le Meur et al. JAP 2014
  32. 32. * Different from Pre, p < 0.05 4100 4200 4300 4400 4500 4600 4700 Control Acute Fatigue F - Overreaching Maximal oxygen uptake (ml/min/kg) Pre Post T2 * MAXIMAL OXYGEN UPTAKE Le Meur et al. JAP 2014
  33. 33. Different from Pre, p < 0.05; † Different from Post, p < 0.05 AN ALTERED CARDIAC RESPONSE Le Meur et al. JAP 2014
  34. 34. AN ALTERED CARDIAC RESPONSE Different from Pre, p < 0.05; † Different from Post, p < 0.05
  35. 35. Different from Pre, p < 0.05 † Different from Post, p < 0.05 CATECHOLAMINES RESPONSE Le Meur et al. JAP 2014
  36. 36. QUESTIONNAIRES Health monitoring questionnaire (URTI & GI infections symptoms)
  37. 37. Hausswirth et al. MSSE 2014 Phase Baseline Overload Taper TOTAL Week number I II III IV V VI VII VIII CTL 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 AF 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 F-OR 0 1 0 4 0 1 2 0 8 INFECTIONS
  38. 38. Hausswirth et al. MSSE 2014  No significant change in the AF and CTL groups. F-OR group: decrease in actual sleep duration, immobile time and sleep efficiency;  These alterations disappeared during the taper phase. * Different from Pre, p < 0.05 SLEEP
  39. 39. Training overload leading to functional overreaching may induce higher risk of training maladaptations, including: o increased infection risks, o sleep disturbances, o symptoms of cardiac fatigue at exercise. CONCLUSION #1
  40. 40. CONCLUSION #1 This study showed that:  greater gains in performance and VO2max occur when the habitual training load increases before the taper…  peak performance is not necessarily delayed during the taper when heavy training loads are completed immediately prior. … but not if there is functional overreaching;
  41. 41.  Further studies are needed to confirm these findings using longitudinal monitoring of elite athletes. PERSPECTIVES
  42. 42. Inigo MUJIKA ~100 international publications 5 books World-recognized expert on training periodization Past experiences: Athletic Bilbao, Euskatel cycling team, USA Swimming Federation, Spanish Swimming Federation, coach of Eneko Llanos (2nd place, Hawaii Triathlon in 2008) FOCUS ON A CASE STUDY Ainhoa MURUA 2nd European Championships in 2012 7th Olympics in London 2012
  43. 43. FOCUS ON A CASE STUDY Mujika et al. IJSPP 2014
  44. 44. … but how hard ?
  45. 45. HOW DO YOU MANAGE TRAINING LOAD? Mujika et al. IJSPP 2014 • The content of each training session is determined according to a pre-planned program, • Each training session is thought in accordance with the actual shape of the athlete, • I do never program a training session, which I think is impossible for the athlete to complete at this period of the season, • I anticipate the athlete should perceive the training session, how easy or hard it should be to complete, • If the session goes well, I continue as planned, • If the athlete doesn’t succeed to complete the session and feels tired, a morning/afternoon or a full day off is programmed to promote recovery.
  46. 46. DO IT SIMPLE… BUT DO IT WELL! MONITOR PERFORMANCE & QUANTIFY TRAINING LOAD DEMONSTRATE EMPATHY & ACCEPT TO REGULATE + CONCLUSION #2
  47. 47. TRAINING LOAD (% habitual load) 100% 60% 130% Control group (n = 8) Pre Phase III (3 weeks) Phase II (1 week) Phase I (3 weeks) Post 100% 60% 130% Overload training group (n = 16) Post Pre OTHER MARKERS TO DIAGNOSE EXCESSIVE FATIGUE? Overloading Phase I (3 weeks) Phase II (1week) Phase III (3 weeks) Le Meur et al. JAP 2013 Phase II (1 week) Phase II (1 week) T1 T1
  48. 48. Psychological parameters Physiological parameters Cognitive performance Kinetic & Kinematic parameters Le Meur et al. JAP 2013 Measured parameters at exercise
  49. 49. Measured parameters Le Meur et al. JAP 2013
  50. 50. -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 Discriminant Function 2 Discriminant Function1 BENEFITS OF A MULTIFACTORIAL ANALYSIS Le Meur et al. JAP 2013 Control group Overreached group ↘ HR at submax intensities ↘ HRmax ↘ [lactate] at submax intensities ↘ Peak [lactate] ↗ RPE at submax intensities
  51. 51. HEART RATE AT EXERCISE Le Meur et al. MSSE 2013 HR monitoring may help to diagnose functional overreaching
  52. 52. > 3 weeks performance baseline … > One month performance baseline Matos et al. MSSE 2011 TRAINING LOAD IS NOT THE ONLY FACTOR OF STRESS
  53. 53. Matos et al. MSSE 2011 OTHER MARKERS TO DIAGNOSE EXCESSIVE FATIGUE?
  54. 54. Matos et al. MSSE 2011 OTHER FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAINING MALADAPTATIONS
  55. 55. Matos et al. MSSE 2011 OTHER FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TRAINING MALADAPTATIONS
  56. 56. TAKE HOME MESSAGES  Overload periods are essential for performance enhancement;  Tapering is critical for the supercompensation process,  Training periodisation should be continuoulsy adapted, based on: o performance responses after a short rest period using regular testing training sessions, o athletes’ feedback (perceived fatigue, well-being, motivation, etc.).
  57. 57. Anaël AUBRY PhD student INSEP Julien LOUIS, PhD Sport scientist INSEP Christophe HAUSSWIRTH, PhD Head of Research Department INSEP Consejo Superior de Deportes
  58. 58. @YLMSportScience THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

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