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Title: Pre-competition and recovery strategies in elite sport : the use of vascular occlusion and ischemic preconditioning
Author: Williams, Natalie
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2018
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Understanding competition demands and training are only two components that impact overall perfonnance which have been previously established in the literature; pre-competition and recovery can also improve athletic performance. However, considerably less research has been conducted in elite populations, investigating the effect of pre-competition and recovery strategies. This thesis set out to investigate a pre-competition and recovery strategy for application in elite sport, via a series of studies specifically focussed on vascular occlusion and limb ischemic preconditioning (IPC). Common to all studies was the importance of individualising cuff pressure and ensuring all studies were completed with elite athletes. Stud} one investigated the use of vascular occlusion combined with resistance exercise, perfonned in the morning prior to afternoon exercise performance. Despite exercise with occlusion attenuating the decline in T from morning to afternoon, this did not translate into improved afternoon performance in strength-power athletes. Study two examined the use cflimb IPC applied 2h and 24h prior to swimming time trial performance. There were no differences in physiological (blood gases and lactate) or performance rnarlcers measured between conditions, when compared to a control. Study three investigated vasculnr occlusion applied as a recovery strategy following repeated sprint exercise, in rugby union players. Recovery rate, assessed through biochemical, hormonal, neuromuscular and subjective perception of muscle soreness were not significantly different following application of vascular occlusion. This thesis succ.essfully examined the use of vascular occlusion/limb IPC as a pre- competition and recovery strategy within elite athletes. Despite the absence of performance improvements, this thesis addressed some of the practical limitations of applying pre­determined protocols in sport and offered alternative protocols to be applied across a rnnge of sports (strength- power, anaerobic, team sports) in areas which have not previously been investigated, providing clear pr'1Ctical implications and future research to inform coaches and perfonnance scientists.
Supervisor: Kilduff, Liam Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral