Comparison of Linear and Reverse Linear Periodized Programs With Equated Volume and Intensity for Endurance Running Performance

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Abstract

This investigation examined the effectiveness of 2 periodization methods on endurance running performance. Thirty recreational runners (25.2 ± 7.4 years; 175.4 ± 8.1 cm; 69.0 ± 9.8 kg) were assigned to 3 groups based on preintervention test results: linear periodization group (LPG, n = 10), reverse linear periodization group (RPG, n = 10), and control group (CG, n = 10). The LPG and RPG completed 3 training sessions (2 supervised and 1 unsupervised) per week in two 6-week blocks. The LPG went through a high-volume training program while the RPG performed higher intensity, lower volume training in the initial block. Training volume and intensity was reversed in the second 6-week training block. All subjects completed pre-training (week 0), midpoint (week 7), and post-training (week 14) testing, which included anthropometric measurements (body mass and sum of 8 skinfolds), treadmill tests for running economy (RE) and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, and a 5,000-m time trial (TT) on a 400-m grass track. Greater improvements in the 5,000-m TT were observed in the LPG (76.8 ± 55.8 seconds, p = 0.009, d = 1.27) and the RPG (112.8 ± 83.4 seconds, p = 0.002, d = 1.51) than the CG (3.6 ± 59 seconds). No significant differences were found between the LPG and RPG (p = 0.321, d = 0.51). No group differences were found for V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak (p = 0.955) or RE at 9 km·h−1 (p = 0.329) or 11 km·h−1 (p = 0.558), respectively. However, significant improvements were seen in these variables after training: V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak (p = 0.010), RE 9 km·h−1 (p < 0.001), and RE 11 km·h−1 (p = 0.004). These results do not support linear periodization or reverse linear periodization as a superior method; however, periodized training elicited greater improvements in endurance performance than nonperiodized training, highlighting the importance of planned training structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345-1353
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume34
Issue number5
Early online dateAug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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