New book: Endurance Training – Infographic Edition

By Iñigo Mujika on June 5th 2016

Endurance Training - Infographic Edition








Endurance Training – Infographic Edition is a reader-frienly infographic version of Endurance Training – Science and Practice. As the original book, this new infographic edition covers the most relevant scientific and practical aspects of endurance training and performance: the physiological determinants of endurance capacity; the adaptations that endurance training induces in the major systems in the body; training design to optimize endurance performance and avoid undesired outcomes such as detraining and overtraining; nutritional and psychological recommendations for optimal endurance training and racing; advice on working with young endurance athletes; dealing with stressful environmental conditions; and medical issues related to endurance training and competition. Thanks to its combination of visual and text elements, Endurance Training – Infographic Edition presents its contents in the most concise, engaging and effective way, making it a great resource for athletes, coaches, students and practitioners involved in endurance training.

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Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez (Photo: Iñigo Mujika)

Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez (Photo: Iñigo Mujika)

Iñigo Mujika , Bent R. Rønnestad, David T. Martin

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Volume 11, Issue 3. April


Despite early and ongoing debate among athletes, coaches, and sport scientists, it is likely that resistance training for endurance cyclists can be tolerated, promotes desired adaptations that support training, and can directly improve performance. Lower-body heavy strength training performed in addition to endurance-cycling training can improve both short- and long-term endurance performance. Strength-maintenance training is essential to retain strength gains during the competition season. Competitive female cyclists with greater lower-body lean mass (LBLM) tend to have ~4–9% higher maximum mean power per kg LBLM over 1 s to 10 min. Such relationships enable optimal body composition to be modeled. Resistance training off the bike may be particularly useful for modifying LBLM, whereas more cycling-specific training strategies like eccentric cycling and single-leg cycling with a counterweight have not been thoughtfully investigated in well-trained cyclists. Potential mechanisms for improved endurance include postponed activation of less efficient type II muscle fibers, conversion of type IIX fibers into more fatigue-resistant IIa fibers, and increased muscle mass and rate of force development.

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Sharpshooting in Sport Science and Elite Sports Training

By Iñigo Mujika on October 8th 2015
Biathlon sharp shooting in Östersund, Sweden (Photo: Inigo Mujika)

Biathlon sharp shooting in Östersund, Sweden (Photo: Inigo Mujika)

A few months ago I read Harriet Tuckey’s wonderful book Everest—The First Ascent, reporting on the generally unrecognized contribution made by her father, Dr Griffith Pugh, to the conquest of Mount Everest back in 1953.1 Despite his outstanding scientific achievements over the years, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Pugh’s problem-solving applied human physiology approach was regarded “as somewhat low level and unscientific”1(p300) by the scientific establishment.

Undeterred, Pugh had continued his research into the energetics of walking and running, heat stress, the changes the body goes through while exercising for long periods outdoors and many other topics. Athletes, cyclists and skiers regularly trooped to his laboratory for tests and met him at various sports grounds for outdoor trials and he continued to publish highly original academic papers up to his retirement in 1975.1(p301)

It wasn’t practical to study large numbers in the high Himalayas or Antarctica, and Pugh often deliberately chose to study small groups of exceptional people like Channel swimmers and Olympic athletes who were not available in large numbers. His research assistant John Brotherhood remembered him saying of Edholm’s huge projects: “Those people take a scatter gun approach, John, but we use a rifle. We are sharpshooters.”1(p302)

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1949, 1984, 2015

By Iñigo Mujika on August 20th 2015
George Orwell´s "1984".

Georges Orwell´s “1984″.

Big Brother, the Party, oldspeak, Room 101, newspeak, thoughtcrime, doublethink, crimestop… Is “1984” really a dystopian fiction published in 1949, or a reflection of reality in 2015?

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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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