Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of two different methods of organizing endurance training in trained male and female cross-country skiers and biathletes during a 5-week preparation period.
One group of athletes performed block periodization (BP; n=10), wherein week 1 and 3 constituted of respectively five and three sessions of high intensity aerobic training (HIT), followed by respectively one and two weeks of one weekly HIT session. Another group performed a more traditional organization (TRAD; n=9), with four weeks of two HIT sessions and one week of three HIT sessions. The HIT was interspersed with low intensity training (LIT) so that similar total volumes of both HIT and LIT were performed in the two groups. The majority of the both HIT and LIT were performed on roller skis. All tests were conducted skating on roller ski treadmill.
BP achieved an improvement in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), while TRAD did not improve (BP; 2.0 ± 2.5% (p = 0.05), TRAD; –0.1 ± 3.0% (p = 0.75). Also in maximal power output (Wmax) BP achieved an improvement, while TRAD did not improve (BP; 3.8 ± 4.3% (p = 0.016), TRAD; –2.5 ± 6.6% (p = 0.241). Mean effect size (ES) of the relative improvement in VO 2max (ES: 0.76) and Wmax (ES: 1.11) revealed moderate superior effects of BP compared to TRAD.
The present study suggests that block periodization of endurance training have superior effects on VO 2max and Wmax compared to traditional organization.