Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Jim McMillan

Committee Member 1

Stephen Rossi

Committee Member 2

Barry Joyner

Abstract

Overtraining has become a very important topic in athletics over the past few decades. Resulting from an imbalance between training stress and recovery, the manifestation of overtraining is unique to each individual, with deviations in physiological, psychological, and performance variables. Regardless of the overwhelming amount of research, there is a lack of any comprehensive studies addressing all components of overtraining. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the effects training load had on performance and psychological variables across a competitive season in collegiate female swimmers. Participants included 19 Division I female swimmers (Age: 19.74±1.19 yrs) who completed 6 tethered swimming tests, yielding the mean force (Fmean) produced during a 20 second period, as well as completing 7 Recovery-Stress Questionnaires (RESTQ-76), yielding a Total Recovery-Stress Score (TRSS). RPE scores were also collected for every training session from each athlete. From this, Session RPE was calculated by multiplying RPE by the meters completed in the training session yielding an arbitrary number representative of the individuals' internal training load. Utilizing the Session RPE data across the entire season, the participants were categorized into High, Middle, and Low training load groups (TLG). Analysis revealed no significant interaction between TLG and TRSS, or between TLG and Fmean. However, there was a significant time effect for TRSS (p<0.001) where there is a significant decreases from the 1st to the 2nd trial (p=0.006), and from the 2nd to the 3rd trial (p=0.05), and significant increases between the 3rd and 4th trial (p<0.001), and between the 5th and 6th trial (p<0.001). Similarly, there was a significant time effect for Fmean (p=0.004) where there is a significant decrease between the 1st and 2nd trial (p=0.004), and a significant increase between the 3rd and 4th trial (p=0.01). The results of this study indicated that although there was no statistically recognizable difference between groups for performance and psychological variables across a competitive season, there were significant changes that occurred across a season for both variables that have practical significance. For coaches, athletes, and researchers, the application of these tools can be used to monitor training for their athletes in an effort to avoid overtraining and under-recovery.

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