Twelve county standard hockey players completed a 30 second sprint on a non-motorised treadmill and an uphill treadmill running test to determine maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) before and after 6 weeks of high intensity training (fast runs 3-5 miles, intervals 30-300 m and circuit training), whilst 11 club standard players completed the same tests without any additional training. For the county standard group there was an 11.1% and 5.0% improvement in peak running speed and distance covered on the sprint treadmill respectively, a 4.2% improvement in VO2 max and an 11.5% improvement in run time to exhaustion during the VO2 max test (all p less than 0.01). No changes were observed for the club standard group. There were large increases in blood lactate (county group 13.26 +/- 1.83 mM) and blood glucose (county group 1.56 +/- 0.71 mM) concentrations as a result of the treadmill sprint, but there were no additional changes in these variables as a result of training. Thus, the mechanism of adaptation in this type of brief maximal exercise remains in question.
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