Athletes with higher VO2max require shorter recoveries during interval training

There has been a large amount of research looking at the effects of different interval training sessions. Most of this has looked at the effects of factors such as intensity, duration, volume, and recovery periods (active recovery, passive recovery, work to rest ratio etc). Whilst this has given us great insights into how to structure interval training, to maximise the performance benefits, it is not clear whether all athletes gain the same the benefit, from these training sessions e.g. should highly trained and moderately trained athletes, be performing intervals at the same relative intensity, and utilising the same recovery periods. [Read more…]

Passive vs active recovery during interval training

It’s well established that interval training is a great way to improve endurance exercise performance with many coaches putting a lot of thought into the speed, duration and volume of an interval session. However, less thought is often put into the importance of the recoveries between intervals and how this affects the overall intensity of the workout. One ongoing debate is whether the recovery period should consist of passive or active recoveries. The argument often put forward for passive recoveries is that they allow a greater workload to be completed compared with active recoveries – but is this really the case? [Read more…]

Using foam rollers to speed recovery, reduce DOMS and improve performance

Foam rollers are often used to stretch and release the muscle tightness and trigger points/knots that can build up following prolonged repetitive or intense training sessions. They are particularly useful for deep tissue massage which helps to break down soft tissue adhesions, scar tissue, trigger points and releases the tightness between the muscles and the fascia. By doing this foam rollers are believed to improved blood flow to the affected muscles, enhance recovery, reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), reduce muscle fatigue and improve muscular performance. This is supported by recent research looking at the effects of foam rolling following back squats (Pearcey et al., 2014). [Read more…]