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Stirling, United Kingdom

Dempster S.,Coventry University | Britton R.,Coventry University | Murray A.,SportScotland Institute of Sport | Costa R.J.S.,Monash University
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism | Year: 2013

The aims of this study were to assess the dietary intake and monitor self-reported recovery quality and clinical symptomology of a male ultra-endurance runner who completed a multiday ultra-endurance running challenge covering 4,254 km from North Scotland to the Moroccan Sahara desert over 78 consecutive days. Food and fluid intakes were recorded and analyzed through dietary analysis software. Body mass (BM) was determined before and after running each day, and before sleep. Clinical symptomology and perceived recovery quality were recorded each day. Whole blood hemoglobin and serum ferritin were determined before and after the challenge. Total daily energy (mean ± SD: 23.2 ± 3.2MJ·day-1) and macronutrient intake (182 ± 31g·day-1 protein, 842 ± 115g·day-1 carbohydrate, 159 ± 55 g·day-1 fat) met consensus nutritional guidelines for endurance performance. Total daily water intake through foods and fluids was 4.8 ± 2.0L·day-1. Water and carbohydrate intake rates during running were 239 ± 143ml·h-1 and 56 ± 19g·h-1, respectively. Immediately after running, carbohydrate and protein intakes were 1.3 ± 1.0g·kg BM-1 and 0.4 ± 0.2g·kg BM-1, respectively. Daily micronutrient intakes ranged from 109 to 662% of UK RNIs. Prerunning BM was generally maintained throughout. Overall exercise-induced BM loss averaged 0.8 ± 1.0%; although BM losses of ≥ 2% occurred in the latter stages, a reflection of the warmer climate. Varying degrees of self-reported perceived recovery quality and clinical symptomology occurred throughout the challenge. This case study highlights oscillations in dietary habits along 78 consecutive days of ultra-endurance running, dependent on changes in ambient conditions and course topography. Nevertheless, nutrition and hydration status were maintained throughout the challenge. Despite dietary iron intake above RNI and iron supplementation, this alone did not prevent deficiency symptoms. © 2013 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Murray A.,SportScotland Institute of Sport | Costa R.J.S.,Coventry University
BMC Medicine | Year: 2012

It is recognised that regular physical activity and a high level of fitness are powerful predictors of positive health outcomes. There is a long and rich history of significant feats of human endurance with some, for example, the death of the first marathon runner, Pheidippides, associated with negative health outcomes.Early studies on endurance running used X-ray and interview techniques to evaluate competitors and comment on performance. Since then, comparatively few studies have looked at runners competing in distances longer than a marathon. Those that have, tend to show significant musculoskeletal injuries and a remarkable level of adaptation to this endurance load.The TransEurope Footrace Project followed ultra-endurance runners aiming to complete 4,500 Km of running in 64 days across Europe. This pioneering study will assess the impact of extreme endurance on human physiology; analysing musculoskeletal and other tissue/organ injuries, and the body's potential ability to adapt to extreme physiological stress. The results will be of interest not only to endurance runners, but to anyone interested in the limits of human performance.Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/78. © 2012 Murray and Costa; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gibson N.,Heriot - Watt University | White J.,Heriot - Watt University | Neish M.,University of Edinburgh | Murray A.,SportScotland Institute of Sport
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2013

Purpose: The study aimed to assess whether exposure to ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in a trained population would affect land-based maximal sprinting performance over 30 m. Methods: Twenty-five well-trained participants regularly involved in invasion-type team-sport events were recruited to take part in a randomized crossover study design. Participants underwent both an IPC and a placebo treatment involving 3 periods of 5-min occlusion applied unilaterally (3 × 5-min occlusion to each leg) at either 220 mmHg or 50 mmHg, respectively. Each period of occlusion was followed by 5 min of reperfusion. After treatment, 3 maximal sprints over a distance of 30 m were undertaken from a standing start interspersed with 1-min recovery. Split times were recorded at 10, 20, and 30 m. Results: No significant effects of the IPC treatment were observed on sprint speed (P < .05) at any of the split timings; however, a small and negative effect was observed in female participants. Calculated effect sizes of the treatment were found to be trivial (<0.2). Conclusions: Results from the current study suggest there to be no benefit to team-sport players in using IPC as a means of enhancing sprint performance over a distance of 30 m. While IPC has been shown to be beneficial to sprint activities in other sports such as swimming, further research is required to elucidate whether this is the case over distances associated with land-based events in track and field or in events reliant on repeated-sprint ability. © 2013 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Park J.L.,University of Stirling | Fairweather M.M.,SportScotland Institute of Sport | Donaldson D.I.,University of Stirling
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2015

In the high stakes world of International sport even the smallest change in performance can make the difference between success and failure, leading sports professionals to become increasingly interested in the potential benefits of neuroimaging. Here we describe evidence from EEG studies that either identify neural signals associated with expertise in sport, or employ neurofeedback to improve performance. Evidence for the validity of neurofeedback as a technique for enhancing sports performance remains limited. By contrast, progress in characterizing the neural correlates of sporting behavior is clear: frequency domain studies link expert performance to changes in alpha rhythms, whilst time-domain studies link expertise in response evaluation and motor output with modulations of P300 effects and readiness potentials. Despite early promise, however, findings have had relatively little impact for sports professionals, at least in part because there has been a mismatch between lab tasks and real sporting activity. After selectively reviewing existing findings and outlining limitations, we highlight developments in mobile EEG technology that offer new opportunities for sports neuroscience. © 2015 The Authors.

Ditroilo M.,University of Hull | Smith I.J.,University of Stirling | Fairweather M.M.,SportScotland Institute of Sport | Hunter A.M.,University of Stirling
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology | Year: 2013

Tensiomyography (TMG) is a technique utilised to measure mechanical and contractile properties of skeletal muscle. Aim of this study was to assess long-term stability of TMG across a variety of muscle conditions. Gastrocnemius Medialis of 21 healthy males was measured using TMG in rested conditions, after a warm-up, after a maximal voluntary contraction and after a fatigue protocol. Participants were re-tested on a second occasion 4. weeks apart. Among the parameters examined, Contraction Time, Sustain Time and Delay time exhibited a good level of absolute reliability (CV = 3.8-9.4%) and poor to excellent level of relative reliability (ICC = 0.56-0.92). On the other hand, relative reliability was good to excellent for muscle Displacement (ICC = 0.86-0.96), whereas its level of absolute reliability was questionable (CV = 8.0-14.8%). Minimum detectable change was less than 20% in most conditions for the aforementioned parameters. Half-relaxation Time yielded overall insufficient reliability. In general, the level of reliability tended to increase after the maximal voluntary contraction and the fatigue protocol were administered, probably because of more controlled conditions preceding the measurement. Information about the long-term stability of TMG across different muscle conditions is essential when intervention studies are undertaken with an exercising population, particularly athletes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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