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Effect of Training surface on acute physiological Responses after
Authors: Martyn J. Binnie, Brian Dawson, Hugh Pinnington, Grant Landers, and Peter Peeling.
To compare the physiological effects of an interval training session on grass as compared to on sand for well trained athletes. The authors wanted to see what changes occurred with the change in surface.
The blood lactate levels were significantly higher on sand and relative changes in pre-post exercise blood lactate were higher on sand. The overall Rating of Perceived Exertion was higher on sand over the average of the three sessions. The heart rate was higher for all three interval sets on sand as compared to grass. The hamstring muscle soreness was higher on grass training as compared to sand. The blood markers of muscle damage had some differences between the grass and sand sessions but none of them were statistically significant.
What this means to you
That interval training sessions performed on sand as opposed to grass resulted in higher relative intensities without a decrease in performance the following day (DOMS, blood lactate, RPE, HR). The lower impact surface (sand) could limit the incidence of overuse injuries seen during sports preseasons. This could allow for a higher intensity training sessions at a higher frequency during the preseason. But you have to be cautious because running on sand changes the kinematics and muscle activation in comparison to running on a firm surface. Therefore this type of training should only be used 1-2 times per week to maintain the training specificity that comes with playing on a firm surface. Sand can be used for athletes returning from injury because of the low impact nature. This is crucial because they are still able to maintain a high training intensity.
Martyn J. Binnie, Brian Dawson, Hugh Pinnington, Grant Landers, and Peter Peeling. “Effect of Training surface on acute physiological Responses after
interval training.” The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 27 (April 2013). 1047-1056.