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Background:The physical and mental training fatigue imposes internal and external stress on athletes which needs to be recovered through diversified techniques including the application of physiological and psychological recovery strategies to attain optimal performance from elite professional track & field athletes.
Objectives: The main objective of the study was to determine the differences in number of training sessions per week and its effects on the performance of elite track & field sprinters and distance runners.
Methodology: This was 8 weeks experimental study in which total 40 professional / semi-professionals, aged between 18-35 years (20) athletes participated in each group of distance runners (5000m) and sprinters (100m). Five (male / female) athletes were distributed into four different strata / groups in each category. Eight weeks intervention training program was implemented at Pakistan Sports Board, in a controlled training environment. To measure the physical muscular recovery, the four strata A, B, C & D were allocated (90 minutes training) intervention for five sessions, seven session, nine and eleven sessions per week respectively. Athletes with any trauma, injury and medical issues were also excluded from the study. Above 35 years and below 18 years including the coaches and officiating staff were also excluded. Additional three athletes were allocated to each group / strata to replace the injured if any during intervention. Moreover, the results non-replaced additional athletes were not counted during analysis. The pre-post analysis of interventions was conducted through Minitab and SPSS-25 version.
Results:The fitness and actual event performance (pre-post) intervention results showed significant difference in both the track & field categories. The null hypothesis of both the sports events were rejected on the basis of results of one sample t-test (p-value<0.005). Thus the impact of eight weeks intervention showed existence, significant difference in both sprinters and distance runners performance. Only two athletes from group C and one athlete from group D couldn’t complete the intervention program due to illness & injuries, which were replaced by the additional athletes.
Conclusion: The study concludes that eight week physiological training intervention significantly not only improved the fitness capacity of distance runners and sprinters but also improved the actual event performance due to fitness gains in different strata / groups accordingly.