Short-term heat acclimation prior to a multi-day desert ultra-marathon improves physiological and psychological responses without compromising immune status

Ashley G. B. Willmott*, Mark Hayes, Kirsty A. M. Waldock, Rebecca L. Relf, Emily R. Watkins, Carl A. James, Oliver R. Gibson, Nicholas J. Smeeton, Alan J. Richardson, Peter W. Watt, Neil S. Maxwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Multistage, ultra-endurance events in hot, humid conditions necessitate thermal adaptation, often achieved through short term heat acclimation (STHA), to improve performance by reducing thermoregulatory strain and perceptions of heat stress. This study investigated the physiological, perceptual and immunological responses to STHA prior to the Marathon des Sables. Eight athletes (age 42 ± 4 years and body mass 81.9 ± 15.0 kg) completed 4 days of controlled hyperthermia STHA (60 min·day‒1, 45°C and 30% relative humidity). Pre, during and post sessions, physiological and perceptual measures were recorded. Immunological measures were recorded pre-post sessions 1 and 4. STHA improved thermal comfort (P = 0.02), sensation (P = 0.03) and perceived exertion (P = 0.04). A dissociated relationship between perceptual fatigue and Tre was evident after STHA, with reductions in perceived Physical (P = 0.04) and General (P = 0.04) fatigue. Exercising Tre and HR did not change (P > 0.05) however, sweat rate increased 14% (P = 0.02). No changes were found in white blood cell counts or content (P > 0.05). Four days of STHA facilitates effective perceptual adaptations, without compromising immune status prior to an ultra-endurance race in heat stress. A greater physiological strain is required to confer optimal physiological adaptations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2249-2256
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume35
Issue number22
Early online date9 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

User-Defined Keywords

  • Short-term heat acclimation
  • heat stress
  • perceived fatigue
  • thermoregulation
  • ultra-endurance

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term heat acclimation prior to a multi-day desert ultra-marathon improves physiological and psychological responses without compromising immune status'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this