TitleGroup training in adolescent runners: influence on VO2max and 5-km race performance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLoprinzi, PD, Cardinal, BJ, Karp, JR, Brodowicz, GR
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association
Date Published2011 Oct

The aims of this study were to (a) examine the interrelationships between training intensity, VO2max, and race performance in adolescent crosscountry runners and (b) determine if adolescent runners participating in a group crosscountry training program differ in the amount of training time at various intensities. In this study, 7 adolescent runners performed a laboratory-based VO2max test before and after a 9-week high-school crosscountry season. Heart rate (HR) and ventilatory threshold (VT) were used to identify 3 training zones for each runner based on the HR at ventilator threshold (HR(VT)): zone 1: >15 b·min(-1) below HR(VT); zone 2: between zone 1 and HR(VT); zone 3: >HR(VT). During each training session throughout the season, HR was measured to quantify the amount of training time in each of these 3 intensity zones. Results showed that the time in each of the 3 zones was not significantly associated with 5-km race performance. Zone 3 training time was positively associated with postseason VO2max (r = 0.73, p = 0.06); VO2max was significantly inversely associated with 5-km race performance (r = -0.77, p = 0.04). Each week, the amount of training time at, above, and below the VT was significantly different among the participants even though the training prescription for the group was standardized. The results suggest that, among adolescent crosscountry runners, training above the VT may be important in increasing VO2max and ultimately, race performance. Given the between-participant differences in the amount of training time in each HR zone, coaches should apply individual, rather than group, training programs.