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
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 508 - 516

Research article
Physiological Response Differences between Run and Cycle High Intensity Interval Training Program in Recreational Middle Age Female Runners
Milos Mallol1,2, Lynda Norton1, David J. Bentley3, Gaizka Mejuto4, Kevin Norton5, Javier Yanci2, 
Author Information
1 Exercise Science, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, South Bedford Park, South Australia
2 Department of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Portal de Lasarte Kalea, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
3 School of Environmental and Life Sciences Faculty of Science, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW, Australia
4 Department of Body Expression Didactics, University of the Basque Country, Sarriena Auzoa. Leioa, Spain
5 School of Health Sciences, City East Campus, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia

Javier Yanci
✉ Department of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Portal de Lasarte Kalea 71, 01007 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 07-02-2020
Accepted: 10-06-2020
Published (online): 13-08-2020
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The aim of this investigation was to compare the changes in endurance running performance and physiological variables after a four-week period of high intensity interval training (HIIT) in either running or cycling in female athletes. Fourteen recreational female runners (age = 42 10 yr, height = 1.67 0.06 m, body mass = 61.6 10.4 kg, body mass index (BMI) = 22.2 3.4 kg.m-2) were randomly allocated to one of two HIIT training groups: running (HIITrun) or cycling (HIITbike). Each group performed two HIIT sessions per week for 4 weeks, which consisted of 6 x 2 min at 95% of maximal heart rate (HRmax) and 4 x 1 min all out efforts. Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in treadmill running increased significantly after the HIITrun (p < 0.01, ES = 0.6) but remained unchanged in HIITbike. However, HIITbike improved average velocity in a 10 km running time trial (TTrun) (p < 0.05, ES = -0.4), whereas, no changes were found for the HIITrun group. Analysing the first and last HIIT sessions, for HIITrun only the average rate of perceived exertion (RPEav) increased significantly, whereas, performance variables such as average heart rate (HRav) and average pace (paceav) remained unchanged. HIITbike enhanced significantly the average speed of HIIT sets (speedav) and the peak power output (PPO) of the session, as well as, the RPEav and delayed onset muscle soreness immediately after HIIT session (DOMSpost) were increased significantly. A regime of HIIT in cycling may evoke increases in female recreational runners’ power, which may be related with improvements in a 10 km TTrun independent of changes in aerobic capacity. This may be advantageous in order to avoid overuse running related injuries.

Key words: gender, intermittent training, muscle damage, aerobic capacity, endurance

           Key Points
  • This article observes the effects of a HIIT program in two different modes, i.e. cycling and running, in a hardly investigated population, recreational middle-age female runners.
  • The analysis of physiological variables in a HIIT session, maximal test and 10 km time trial run performance.
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