Analyse de la charge de travail et recommandations pour l’optimisation de la performance humaine en course au large

par Kilian Philippe

Thèse de doctorat en Staps

Sous la direction de Thierry Paillard et de Jacques Prioux.

  • Résumé

    La voile est un sport pluridisciplinaire exigeant à la fois physiquement et cogni-tivement. Lors de compétitions, les marins s’affrontent et font face à divers facteurs de stress environnementaux impactant directement leur performance. Le taux de stress important auquel les marins font face suscite l’intérêt de développer une meil-leure compréhension des réponses physiologiques et psychologiques aux charges de travail (WL) liées à la voile. En effet, le monitoring de WL chez les marins devrait être fréquent et poussé afin d’ : a) adapter le programme et la planification de l’entrainement, b) informer le skipper des risques éventuels de blessure et/ou de su-rentrainement et c) optimiser la performance des marins en planifiant des interven-tions de récupération.

  • Titre traduit

    Workload analysis and recommendations for optimizing human performance in pro-fessional offshore sailors

  • Résumé

    Sailing is a physically and cognitively demanding multidisciplinary sport with sailors competing in the presence of multifaceted performance-related stressors. The high level of stress sailors face during training and competition ignites the necessity for a better understanding of the dose-response relationship related to sailing work-load (WL). Indeed, WL monitoring of sailors must be practised extensively to; a) adapt the training schedule, b) provide the skipper with valuable information on potential risks of injury and overtraining, and c) ensure adequate recovery program-ming to enhance performance. Hence, quantifying the WL in professional sailors in-volves multiple aspects to properly investigate the training and competition dose-response relationship. Historically, monitoring WL in elite sports environments has been based on the theoretical “general adaptive syndrome” model, whereby performance can be predicted through variables of fitness and fatigue over acute and chronic mathematical systems. However, offshore sailing has received limited inter-est concerning WL and its’ effects on morphological, physical, and physiological ad-aptations. Furthermore, the scarcity of data in such unexplored environments makes it a strenuous task for human performance practitioners aiming at planning and structuring efficient training interventions. This thesis contains three studies that aim to build a novel conceptual model of WL analysis by identifying valid and reliable monitoring assessments that relate to competition performance in professional offshore sailing. Study One attempted to overcome the common misconception that sailing is considered a “light” exercise (Bernardi et al., 1990) by proving that sailing performance is linked to fitness pro-files. The findings identified multiple physical variables able to discriminate be-tween successful- and less-successful sailors. Indeed, successful sailors were charac-terised by stronger handgrip, more powerful bench pull, and stronger isometric mid-thigh pull. Study Two observed and described the distribution of WL throughout a pre-competition period. Furthermore, it intended the identification of data smooth-ing mathematical models capable of predicting the effects of WL on neuromuscular performance, well-being, and salivary cortisol (SC). The results highlighted the com-plexity of managing high and variant WLs throughout a season. Significant associa-tions were also established between WL parameters and markers of subjective and objective fatigue. Moreover, monitoring tools were identified as valid and reliable methods for monitoring the preparedness of an offshore sailing crew. Hence some variables can be integrated into the monitoring systems used by human performance practitioners to enhance the efficiency of human resources. Data smoothing models, commonly used for analysing acute to chronic (acute : chronic) ratios, were found to be intuitive predictors of performance. Study Three explored the issue of understand-ing the effects of competition on the ‘fitness-fatigue’ model. It documented the char-acteristics of the race, described the physiological responses to competition, and ex-amined neurophysiological and psychological fatigue patterns. These findings can greatly assist strength and conditioning and nutritionists alike in elaborating adapted interventions capable of enhancing athletic and sailing performance.

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