Scheduling Sprint Interval Training at a Constant Rather Than Variable Time of Day Does Not Influence the Gains in Endurance Performance

Main Article Content

Taylor Russell Ewell
Kole Jerel Harms
Kieran Shay Struebin Abbotts
Christopher Bell

Keywords

circadian, time-trial, zeitgeber

Abstract




Introduction: The benefits of consistently exercising at the same time of day are currently unknown. The endurance benefits (10km cycle time-trial) of sprint interval training (SIT) were compared when SIT (six sessions of 4-to-7 x 30-second sprints) was completed at a constant or variable time of day.
Methods: Twenty-six adults were assigned to a training schedule: Constant- training and pre/post (Post1) time-trials occurred at a fixed time of day; Variable- training never occurred within 6-hours of the time of day of the previous session; post-SIT time-trials (Post1) for the Variable group were completed at the same time of day as pre-SIT time- trials. A second post-SIT time-trial (Post2) occurred ≥6-hours earlier/later than the time of day of (Post1).
Results: The coefficient of variation of oral temperature, measured prior to each SIT session, was greater (P=0.02) in the Variable compared with the Constant group. SIT improved time-trial performance (P<0.001) at Post2; the magnitude of improvement was not different between schedules (Constant: Pre 1158±164, Post1 1144±165, & Post2 1124±146 s vs. Variable: Pre 1216±136, Post1 1189±130, & Post2 1165±121 seconds (mean±SD); group-x-training P=0.646).
Conclusions: Consistently training at the same time of day does not appear to be a critical consideration when scheduling regular exercise.




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