Robin PLA

PhD in Sports Science.

I have recently obtained a PhD in Sports Science. My research work has mainly focused on the analysis of the effects of different training strategies in swimming. Several studies have revealed the impact of training load and different intensity zones, stress on performance, physiological responses and fatigue in high performance swimmers. All this work led to the writing of 6 articles within the framework of this thesis, 4 of which were written as the first author. Five have already been published in an international magazine.
These works have been integrated into the research topics of the two laboratories to which I belong (SEP and IRMES, National Institute of Sports), where the improvement of sports performance is the priority. The complementary research protocols used in my thesis taught me to use different methodological tools with very different scientific approaches.
In this context, I had the opportunity to transcribe this scientific research to the French national swimming teams, with whom I carried out numerous physiological tests. This relationship between scientific theory and practical application has allowed me to identify new ways of conceiving training, with a much more significant scientific approach.
During these years, I was also able to capture this learning through different university and federal courses. The synergy between scientific research, university teaching and the professional world has been my guiding principle.


⦁ Pla R, Aubry A, Resseguier N, Merino M, Toussaint JF, Hellard P. Training Organization, Physiological Profile and Heart Rate Variability Changes in an Open-water World Champion. Int J Sports Med. 2019 Aug; 40 (8): 519-527. doi: 10.1055 / a-0877-6981. Epub 2019 Jul 9. PMID: 31288291.

⦁ Pla R, Pujos-Guillot E, Durand S, Brandolini-Bunlon M, Centeno D, Pyne DB, Toussaint JF, Hellard P. Non-targeted metabolomics analyzes by mass spectrometry to explore metabolic stress after six training weeks in high level swimmers. J Sports Sci. 2020 Dec 15: 1-10. doi: 10.1080 / 02640414.2020.1851933. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33320058.

⦁ Pla R, Le Meur Y, Aubry A, Toussaint JF, Hellard P. Effects of a 6-Week Period of Polarized or Threshold Training on Performance and Fatigue in Elite Swimmers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2019 Feb 1; 14 (2): 183-189. doi: 10.1123 / ijspp.2018-0179. Epub 2019 Jan 2. PMID: 30040002.

⦁ Pla R, Brocherie F, Le Garrec S, Richalet JP. Effectiveness of the hypoxic exercise test to predict altitude illness and performance at moderate altitude in high-level swimmers. Physiol Rep. 2020 Apr; 8 (8): e14390. doi: 10.14814 / phy2.14390. PMID: 32323493; PMCID: PMC7177172.

⦁ Pla R, Leroy A, Massal R, Bellami M, Kaillani F, Hellard P, Toussaint JF, Sedeaud A. Bayesian approach to quantify morphological impact on performance in international elite freestyle swimming. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2019 Oct 23; 5 (1): e000543. doi: 10.1136 / bmjsem-2019-000543. PMID: 31749980; PMCID: PMC6830458.

⦁ Hellard P, Pla R, Rodríguez FA, Simbana D, Pyne DB. Dynamics of the Metabolic Response During a Competitive 100-m Freestyle in Elite Male Swimmers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018 Sep 1; 13 (8): 1011-1020. doi: 10.1123 / ijspp.2017-0597. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 29466071.

⦁ McGibbon KE, Pyne DB, Heidenreich LE, Pla R. A Novel Method to Characterize the Pacing Profile of Elite Male 1500-m Freestyle Swimmers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2020 Dec 8: 1-7. doi: 10.1123 / ijspp.2020-0375. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33291067.

⦁ Hellard P, Avalos-Fernandes M, Lefort G, Pla R, Mujika I, Toussaint JF, Pyne DB. Elite Swimmers’ Training Patterns in the 25 Weeks Prior to Their Season’s Best Performances: Insights Into Periodization From a 20-Years Cohort. Front Physiol. 2019 Apr 10; 10: 363. doi: 10.3389 / fphys.2019.00363. PMID: 31031631; PMCID: PMC6470949.