Archivo de December 2013

2013, a year of lights and shadows

By Iñigo Mujika , el 28 de December de 2013

The year 2013 is coming to an end, and along with it I leave behind 12 months full of lights and shadows. The year that brought my return to professional cycling, once again with Euskaltel Euskadi, also brought the unexpected disparition of such a special and historic team, a true classic of the professional peloton. What started as a new era for the team, characterized by its internationalization and the search for excellence in its approach to the challenges of the World Tour, in which the team was guaranteed to continue for at least four years, ended with the unexpected and inexplicable dismantling of the team. In the bright side remain the feeling of a job well done, the training camps in La Vila Joiosa and Sierra Nevada, the laboratory and field tests with implicated and professional riders, the relationships with them and all my other teammates, the hard earned and well deserved team victory in Euskaltel Euskadi’s very last major stage tour. On the downside, of course, the tragic accident that took away the life of our colleague and friend Rufino, the team’s disparition and the way it occurred, leaving little margin for the riders to guarantee their continuity in the professional ranks, and practically every single sport director, trainer, masseur, mechanic and all the rest unemployed.

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Identifying Optimal Overload and Taper in Elite Swimmers over Time

By Iñigo Mujika , el 4 de December de 2013

Philippe Hellard, Marta Avalos, Christophe Hausswirth, David Pyne, Jean-Francois Toussaint, Iñigo Mujika.

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 668 – 678

The aim of this exploratory study was to identify the most influential training designs during the final six weeks of training (F6T) before a major swimming event, taking into account athletes’ evolution over several seasons. Fifteen female and 17 male elite swimmers were followed for one to nine F6T periods. The F6T was divided into two sub-periods of a three-week overload period (OP) and a three-week taper period (TP). The final time trial performance was recorded for each swimmer in his or her specialty at the end of both OP and TP. The change in performances (ΔP) between OP and TP was recorded. Training variables were derived from the weekly training volume at several intensity levels as a percentage of the individual maximal volume measured at each intensity level, and the individual total training load (TTL) was considered to be the mean of the loads at these seven intensity levels. Also, training patterns were identified from TTL in the three weeks of both OP and TP by cluster analysis. Mixed-model was used to analyse the longitudinal data. The training pattern during OP that was associated with the greatest improvement in performance was a training load peak followed by a linear slow decay (84 ± 17, 81 ± 22, and 80 ± 19 % of the maximal training load measured throughout the F6T period for each subject, Mean ± SD) (p < 0.05). During TP, a training load peak in the 1st week associated with a slow decay design (57 ± 26, 45 ± 24 and 38 ± 14%) led to higher ΔP (p < 0.05). From the 1st to 3rd season, the best results were characterized by maintenance of a medium training load from OP to TP. Progressively from the 4th season, high training loads during OP followed by a sharp decrease during TP were associated with higher ΔP.

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