Altered perception and report of fatigue and recovery in veteran athletes.
AIM: This study investigated whether ageing effects perceived and reported ratings of fatigue and total quality of recovery following high-intensity training in athletes. We hypothesized that veteran (V) athletes would report greater changes in perceived measures of fatigue and recovery than training-matched younger athletes.
METHODS: Perceptions of muscle soreness (SOR), fatigue, and recovery were recorded in young (Y) and V (>35 years) well-trained cyclists in response to 3 days of repeated cycling time trials. Nine Y (24+/-5 years) and 9 V (45+/-6 years) cyclists performed 3 consecutive days (T1-T3) of 30-min cycling time trials (TT30) intended to induce fatigue leading to decreased performance. Physiological and performance variables were measured before, during, and after each time trial. Subjective measures of SOR, fatigue, and recovery were recorded each day.
RESULTS: There was no change in performance at the TT30 from T1 to T3 for either group. SOR, fatigue, and recovery significantly changed over the 3 days in the V group, but not in the Y group. The change in SOR from T1 to T3 was significantly greater in the V group than in the Y group (22+/-14 mm vs 9+/-12 mm, respectively; P=0.04).
CONCLUSION: It was concluded that 3 days of cycling time trials induce perceptions of muscle pain/SOR, fatigue and reduced recovery in well-trained V cyclists with no corresponding decline in physical performance.