Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 455 - 460

Research article
Discrepancy between training, competition and laboratory measures of maximum heart rate in NCAA division 2 distance runners
Katherine Semin1, Alvah C. Stahlnecker IV1, Kate Heelan1, Gregory A. Brown1, Brandon S. Shaw2, , Ina Shaw3
Author Information
1 University of Nebraska at Kearney, USA
2 Tshwane University of Technology, Republic of South Africa
3 Vaal University of Technology, Republic of South Africa

Brandon S. Shaw
✉ Tshwane University of Technology, Department of Sport, Rehabilitation & Dental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Pvt. Bag X680 Pretoria 0001, Republic of South Africa.
Email: shawbs@tut.ac.za
Publish Date
Received: 06-05-2008
Accepted: 02-08-2008
Published (online): 01-12-2008
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ABSTRACT

A percentage of either measured or predicted maximum heart rate is commonly used to prescribe and measure exercise intensity. However, maximum heart rate in athletes may be greater during competition or training than during laboratory exercise testing. Thus, the aim of the present investigation was to determine if endurance-trained runners train and compete at or above laboratory measures of 'maximum' heart rate. Maximum heart rates were measured utilising a treadmill graded exercise test (GXT) in a laboratory setting using 10 female and 10 male National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division 2 cross-country and distance event track athletes. Maximum training and competition heart rates were measured during a high-intensity interval training day (TR HR) and during competition (COMP HR) at an NCAA meet. TR HR (207 ± 5.0 b·min-1; means ± SEM) and COMP HR (206 ± 4 b·min-1) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than maximum heart rates obtained during the GXT (194 ± 2 b·min-1). The heart rate at the ventilatory threshold measured in the laboratory occurred at 83.3 ± 2.5% of the heart rate at VO2 max with no differences between the men and women. However, the heart rate at the ventilatory threshold measured in the laboratory was only 77% of the maximal COMP HR or TR HR. In order to optimize training-induced adaptation, training intensity for NCAA division 2 distance event runners should not be based on laboratory assessment of maximum heart rate, but instead on maximum heart rate obtained either during training or during competition.

Key words: Competition, heart rate, laboratory, performance, running, training


           Key Points
  • A percentage of maximum heart rate is commonly used to prescribe and measure exercise intensity. However, maximum heart rate may be greater during competition or training than during laboratory exercise testing.
  • Heart rates during training and competition were significantly higher than maximum heart rates obtained during laboratory exercise testing.
  • To optimize training-induced adaptation, training intensity for NCAA division 2 distance event runners should not be based on laboratory assessment of maximum heart rate, but instead on maximum heart rate measure obtained either during training or during competition.
 
 
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