Iron deficiency and aerobic endurance performance in a female club runner.

  • By rdenis1
  • On 22/09/2018

Iron deficiency and aerobic endurance performance in a female club runner (Denis, R. & Conway, J., Science & Sports, 2018).

Objective - This study aimed to monitor longitudinal changes in performance and aerobic adaptations as well as ferritin (Fer) and additional markers pertaining to iron status in an iron deficient female runner.

Methods - Over 26 months, a venous blood sample was taken every 3 months, lactate profiling and VO2max tests were conducted every 5-6 months. Running performance was recorded during 5km timed runs (Parkrun). The intervention consisted of iron supplementation, increases in dietary iron intake and implementing a structured approach to training. 

Results - Fer values increased from 4 to 40 µg.L-1 during the period of investigation. Running times improved from 28:02 (m:s) to 23:15 (See figure, serum ferritin values (open circles) and Parkrun running times (closed circles) during the period studied). Hemoglobin increased from 9.8 g.dL-1 to 13.7 g.dL-1. Hematocrit ranged from 31.8 to 37.9%, peaking at 40.4%. Mean corpuscular volume and hemoglobin increased from 70 fl to 89 fl and 21.5 pg to 30.1 pg, respectively. VO2max  improved from 47.40 to 55.79

Conclusions - Our results demonstrate that iron supplementation, increase in dietary iron intake and structured training induced improvements in: (i) Fer and other markers of iron status, (ii) running performance and (iii) VO2max of an iron deficient female club runner.

Keywords: Ferritin, Hemoglobin, Training, VO2max, Blood lactate.

Serum ferritin values

Nutrition Training Sport Health Lactate thresholds

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