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Often during the course of a season, but always during the final preparation for a championship event, reductions in training occur. Athletes may look positively upon these reductions in training if a championship event is at hand, but negatively if the reductions are due to illness or injury. Whichever the case, high intensity intermittent exercise has always been recommended over low intensity continuous exercise. In this study, male competitive cyclists performed 21 days of reduced training using either high intensity intermittent or low intensity continuous exercise. Both training programmes resulted in maintenance of exercise performance during submaximal and maximal exercise. As both an exercise physiologist and a coach of triathletes, I have worked with athletes who would rather perform high intensity incremental exercise and those who would rather perform low intensity continuous exercise in preparation for a championship. The results of this study show that both types of reduction in training are appropriate, and thus final preparation can be tailored by the coach for each athlete, with comparable results. Likewise, enforced time off during the season, although never looked upon as a positive, should not be viewed as a total negative if low intensity continuous exercise can be maintained throughout.
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