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The Effects of Menstrual Cycle Phases on Running Repeated Sprint Ability

Di Nicola, Samuele; Ferrier, Brendon; Florida-James, Geraint; Kavaliauskas, Mykolas

Authors

Samuele Di Nicola

Mykolas Kavaliauskas



Abstract

Female participation in regular sport activities has increased in recent years, yet their representation in sports and exercise science literature remains low. This can be partly attributed to the complexities associated with the menstrual cycle (MC). Despite these challenges, sport and exercise science studies should not ignore the effects of the MC and its hormonal fluctuations on performance and physiological measures. The aim of this study was to compare performance, physiological and perceptual differences when performing a running repeated sprint ability (RSA) exercise during the early-follicular, and mid-luteal sub-phases of the MC. Five healthy, physically active participants (25.4 ± 3.0 years; 1.65 ± 0.1 m; 64.5 ± 18.6 kg; 43.2 ± 5.2 ml O2·kg-1) took part in this study. The participants completed two familiarization and four intervention sessions (twice during each MC sub-phase) of the RSA exercise. The RSA protocol consisted of five ‘all-out’ sprints of six seconds on a non-motorized treadmill with 24 seconds of walking between the sprints. Results indicated no significant differences (p > 0.05) between MC sub-phases in body mass index, fat mass, mean and peak power output, fatigue index for peak power output, distance, peak acceleration, pre-exercise lactate, oxygen uptake, and heart rate. However, significant differences were found in post-exercise lactate (p = 0.04) and rating of perceived exertion (p = 0.001). In conclusion, MC phases do not appear to influence most of the chosen RSA performance indicators thus suggesting that practitioners should not tailor repeated sprint exercises and tests based on the MC phases.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 23, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Sep 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 27, 2022
Journal International Journal of Strength and Conditioning
Publisher International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 1
DOI https://doi.org/10.47206/ijsc.v2i1.137
Keywords menstrual cycle, performance, female, ovarian hormones, repeated sprint ability
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2923912

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