Case studies about elite performance in the heat

By Iñigo Mujika on July 17th 2015
Conference at INSEP in Paris

During the conference (Photo: INSEP)

“Heat stress and sport performance” was the title of an excellent conference that took place at INSEP (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance), Paris, on June 22nd and 23rd. The Scientific Committee of the conference, including my colleagues (and friends) Christophe Hausswirth, Yann Le Meur, Rob Duffield and Aaron Coutts managed to bring together sport physiologists, medical doctors, coaches and other elite sport professionals, including athletes, to present, discuss and debate the latest developments concerning heat exposure during training and competition in hot environments.

Below you can find the written abstract of my own invited lecture, entitled “Case studies about elite performance in the heat”.

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Another lost interview: tapering and peaking in cycling

By Iñigo Mujika on July 10th 2015
Fine tuning Mikel Astarloza in the Tour the France (Photo: Iñigo Mujika)

Fine tuning Mikel Astarloza in the Tour the France (Photo: Iñigo Mujika)

Here’s another interview that I did a few weeks ago for a cycling magazine. Most of the contents were never published in the final article, so…

Let’s presume we’re aiming at a sportive rider who’s pretty serious about their training. Their goal event is 150km long and they’ve been training regularly for about 6-10hrs a week. Broadly speaking, how long should they taper for to be at their peak come race day?

As a general rule, research has shown that optimal tapering duration for cycle racing ranges between 8 and 14 days. However, we all know that general rules do not necessarily apply to individual athletes, who should adapt taper duration to their individual recovery-fitness profile and their level of accumulated fatigue: some cyclists recover faster than others, and they would need a shorter taper; some lose fitness faster than others, and they would need to train enough during the taper to avoid losing adaptation (i.e. detraining); some may have a more pronounced residual fatigue from their intensive training and/or other stressful lifestyle factors, and they may require a longer taper or a more pronounced reduction of their training load in the days prior to the race.

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Elementary Anatomy and Physiology (VIII). Sleep

By Iñigo Mujika on May 28th 2015
Vino durmiente (Photo: Inigo Mujika)

Sleeping wine (Photo: Inigo Mujika)

 

I have written about sleep before. In my June 2011 blogpost Sleep, the key to recovery and training adaptation I mentioned the negative impact of insufficient sleep on recovery, training adaptation and competition performance. I also provided some practical tips to promote athletes’ sleep quantity and/or quantity.

This time I just want to share some fascinating texts about sleep that were published 155 years ago (Hitchcock & Hitchcock. Elementary Anatomy and Physiology for Colleges, Academies and Other Schools, 1860). Please note the horrible passing reference to Native Americans being tortured at the stake…

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Lost interview on periodization for triathlon

By Iñigo Mujika on May 11th 2015
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Eneko Llanos, Ainhoa Murua, Inigo Mujika and Hektor Llanos.

Eneko Llanos, Ainhoa Murua, Inigo Mujika and Hektor Llanos.

What follows is an interview that I did a few months ago for a triathlon magazine but never got published, except for a few extracts here and there within an article.

What are the limitations of a traditional periodization model (base, build…) for a triathlete racing five to 10 times per season?

A major limitation of a traditional periodization model is its inability to produce multiple performance peaks over the season. Although this may not be a big problem for a long-distance triathlete taking part in two or three major events in the season, it is clearly a handicap for an elite Olympic distance triathlete needing to perform repeatedly at the World Triathlon Series. In addition, such mixed training programmes may induce excessive fatigue, conflicting training responses and stagnation of improvement rate.

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Nouveau livre: L’affûtage

By Iñigo Mujika on March 5th 2015

Iñigo Mujika - L´AffutageLa période d’affûtage est une des phases essentielles dans la préparation physique d’un athlète, qui désigne les derniers jours ou les dernières semaines avant une échéance sportive importante. La difficulté de cette période cruciale réside dans l’équilibre que doit trouver l’entraîneur ou le préparateur physique, entre le repos nécessaire pour diminuer la fatigue accumulée et les stimulations nécessaires pour atteindre une performance optimale.

Quand doit-elle commencer ? Quelle est la stratégie la plus efficace ? Quels sont les éléments à prendre en compte pour l’adapter à chaque athlète ? Quels sont les gains attendus ?

Ce sont à toutes ces questions qu’ont tentés de répondre les auteurs de cet ouvrage, Iñigo Mujika et Laurent Bosquet, experts en physiologie de l’effort et mondialement reconnus en préparation physique.

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Physiology and Training of a World Champion Paratriathlete

By Iñigo Mujika on February 24th 2015
Paratriathlete Mikel Garmendia, crossing the finish line (Photo: Inigo Mujika)

Paratriathlete Mikel Garmendia, crossing the finish line (Photo: Inigo Mujika)

Mujika IOrbañanos JSalazar H.

Abstract

Paratriathlon will debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, but research documenting the physiological attributes and training practices of elite paratriathletes is lacking. This case study reports on the physiology and training of a Long Distance World Champion male paratriathlete (below the knee amputee) over 19 months. His body mass and skinfolds declined respectively by ≈4 kg and 30% in 2 months, and remained relatively constant thereafter. His swim test velocity increased by 4.4% over six months, but declined back to baseline thereafter. His absolute and relative cycling maximal aerobic power improved progressively by 21.8% and 32.6%, respectively. His power output at the individual lactate threshold (ILT) improved by 39.5% and 51.6%, and his power output at the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) by 59.7% and 73.4%. His maximal running aerobic velocity improved by 12.8%, and his velocity at ILT and OBLA increased by 38.9% and 44.9%, respectively. Over 84 weeks he performed 813 training sessions (248 swim, 229 bike, 216 run, 120 strength), i.e. 10±3 sessions/week (mean±SD). Swim, bike and run volumes were 709 km (8±3 km/wk), 519 h (6±4 h/wk) and 164 h (2±1 h/wk). Training at intensities below ILT, between ILT and OBLA, and above OBLA for swim were 82%±3%, 14%±1%, 4.4±0.4%; bike 91%±3%, 6.2%±0.5%, 3.3%±0.3%; run 88%±1%, 8.0%±0.3%, 3.5%±0.1%. The training volume for each discipline was lower than previously reported for competitive able-bodied Olympic distance triathletes. He won the Long Distance World Championship in 8h 14min 47s, nearly 30 min faster than his nearest competitor.

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Cycling is not the same without Euskaltel Euskadi

By Iñigo Mujika on February 6th 2015

Iñigo Mujika Volata Magazine

The January 2015 issue of Volata Magazine publishes a central report dedicated to Basque cycling, one year after the disappearance of the team Euskaltel Euskadi. In this issue, there is an article I wrote in which I describe my perception about the team and my own experience working in it. I hope you like it.

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