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Effect of endurance training on lung function: a one year study
  1. P Kippelen1,
  2. C Caillaud2,
  3. E Robert1,
  4. P Connes2,
  5. P Godard3,
  6. C Prefaut1
  1. 1UPRES EA 701 Physiologie des Interactions, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve, F-34295 Montpellier, France
  2. 2UPRES EA 2991, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, F-34090 Montpellier, France
  3. 3Clinique des Maladies Respiratoires, Hôpital Arnaud de Villeneuve
  1. Correspondence to:
 Ms Caillaud
 UPRES EA 2991, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, F-34090 Montpellier, France;


Objective: To identify in a follow up study airway changes occurring during the course of a sport season in healthy endurance athletes training in a Mediterranean region.

Methods: Respiratory pattern and function were analysed in 13 healthy endurance trained athletes, either during a maximal exercise test, or at rest and during recovery through respiratory manoeuvres (spirometry and closing volume tests). The exercise test was conducted on three different occasions: during basic endurance training and then during the precompetition and competitive periods.

Results: During the competitive period, a slight but non-clinically significant decrease was found in forced vital capacity (−3.5%, p  =  0.0001) and an increase in slope of phase III (+25%, p  =  0.0029), both at rest and after exercise. No concomitant reduction in expiratory flow rates was noticed. During maximal exercise there was a tachypnoeic shift over the course of the year (mean (SEM) breathing frequency and tidal volume were respectively 50 (2) cycles/min and 3.13 (0.09) litres during basic endurance training v 55 (3) cycles/min and 2.98 (0.10) litres during the competitive period; p<0.05).

Conclusions: This study does not provide significant evidence of lung function impairment in healthy Mediterranean athletes after one year of endurance training.

  • FEF25–75, mid maximal expiratory flow rate
  • FEV1, forced expiratory volume in the first second
  • FVC, forced vital capacity
  • athletes
  • exercise
  • hyperventilation
  • lung function
  • airways

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  • Competing interests: none declared