Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Plowman, Sharon A.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Running--Training; Running--Physiological aspects


The purpose of this study was to determine the physiological and performance effects of a 35-day training taper on male cross-country runners (N = 7; M_ age = 20.63 + 3.58 yrs). Each subject was tested for running economy (at 188, 228, and 268 m- min-i, 7, 8.5,10 mph) and VO2 max on a motor driven treadmill four times immediately prior to and after 21, 28, and 35 days of taper. Competitive race times for 8 kilometers were recorded each weekend following laboratory testing. The reduced training program consisted of a 65% reduction in volume, a 17% reduction in frequency, and an increase from 91% to 96% intensity for the speedwork sessions which comprised approximately 25% of the total miles run. The results of one-way repeated ANOVAs showed no significant difference in oxygen cost at any of the three submaximal velocities (188 m min-i, p = 0.47; 228 m • min-i, p = 0.79; and 268 m • min-i, p = 0.31), or in VO2 max in ml • kg-i ? min-i (p_= 0.96) and VO2 max in 1 • min1 (p = 0.75) over the 35-day reduced training taper. Four of the 7 runners exhibited a shift in lactate threshold (>4 mmol l-i) during the 35-day taper. One subject's threshold decreased from 268 m min i to 228 m min-i, while three of the subjects increased their lactate threshold from 228 m min-i to 268 m min-i at 21, 28, and 35 days of reduced training. Most importantly, the performance data showed a statistically significant (p < 0.05) decrease in the 8 kilometer race times from before reduced training. Times for races at weeks 2 (T14), 4 (T28) and 5 (T35) were all significantly faster than the pre-taper (PT) value. The results of this study indicate that well-trained cross-country runners were able to maintain their physiological fitness and improve their 8 kilometer race times during a tapering period of 35-days following the described program, which emphasized an increase in intensity to compensate for the decrease in total training volume.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [26]-28).


vii, 81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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