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Purpose: To compare performance and physiological responses between a standard-paced 3-minute time trial (TTSP, ie, pacing based on normal intention) and a consistently all-out-paced 3-minute time trial (TTAOP). Methods: Sixteen well-trained male cyclists completed the TTSP and TTAOP, on separate days of testing, on a cycling ergometer with power output and respiratory variables measured. Time trials were preceded by 7 × 4-minute submaximal stages of increasing intensity with the linear relationship between power output and metabolic rate used to estimate the contribution from aerobic and anaerobic energy resources. The time course of anaerobic and aerobic contributions to power output was analyzed using statistical parametric mapping. Results: Mean power output was not different between the 2 pacing strategies (TTSP = 417  W, TTAOP = 423  W; P = 0.158). TTAOP resulted in higher peak power output (P < .001), mean ventilation rate (P < .001), mean heart rate (P = .044), peak accumulated anaerobically attributable work (P = .026), post-time-trial blood lactate concentration (P = .035), and rating of perceived exertion (P = .036). Statistical parametric mapping revealed a higher anaerobic contribution to power output during the first ∼30 seconds and a lower contribution between ∼90 and 170 seconds for TTAOP than TTSP. The aerobic contribution to power output was higher between ∼55 and 75 seconds for TTAOP. Conclusions: Although there was no significant difference in performance (ie, mean power output) between the 2 pacing strategies, differences were found in the distribution of anaerobically and aerobically attributable power output. This implies that athletes can pace a 3-minute maximal effort very differently but achieve the same result.
Andersson (email@example.com) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4433-1218