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Physiological responses to matched quantities of cycling and running (Ref: SF20/SER/HAYES1)

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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Dr P Hayes Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The vast majority of training studies, on clinical, untrained and trained participants, are conducted using either running or cycling as the mode of exercise. These studies tend to focus on training adaptations that improve metabolic and cardiovascular function e.g. V ̇O2 max. through the use of either continuous or interval training. In particular, interval training has been effective across a wide range of participant populations from clinical (Weston et al 2014) and sedentary groups (Bacon et al (2013) to athletes (Wen et al 2019). While this method of training has unequivocally been shown to be effective, identifying an optimal training load has not been possible (Viana et al 2018). This could, in part, be due to differing modes of exercise.

Training adaptations are stimulated in response to the accumulated effects of training sessions. The ability to quantify the amount of exercise undertaken and match it with the magnitude of the adaptations can lead to the establishment of a dose-response relationship from which training can be accurately prescribed (Fitzpatrick et al 2019). Very few training studies comparing interval and continuous training have matched their groups based on the metabolic demands (Helgerud et al 2008) and to date no studies have compared similar amounts of training performed in cycling or running. It is not therefore possible to know which of these modes, if either, is more effective.

We (Hayes and Quinn 2009) developed a method for quantifying training for both continuous and interval training which has recently been applied to cycling (Moya-Ramon et al 2018). The purpose of this PhD is to compare the physiological responses from equal amounts of continuous and interval training in both cycling and running across a range of participants (sedentary, runner, cyclists and triathletes).

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g., SF20/…) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Open
Start Date: October 2020 or March 2021
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

For enquiries, please contact Dr Phil Hayes ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

Please note, this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend; the studentship is available to Students Worldwide. Fee bands are available at . A relevant fee band will be discussed at interview based on project running costs


Hayes P.R. and Quinn, M.D., (2009) A mathematical model for quantifying training. European Journal of Applied Physiology 106:839-847
Fitzpatrick, J., Hicks, K. & Hayes, P.R. (2018) Dose-Response Relationship between Training Load and Changes in Aerobic Fitness in Professional Youth Soccer Players International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 13(10): 1365-1370.

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