The collection of retrospective lap times from video footage is a potentially useful research tool to analyze the pacing strategies in any number of competitive events. The aim of this study was to validate a novel method of obtaining running split-time data from publically available video footage. Videos of the 1500-m men’s final from the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, 2005 and 2009 World Championships, and 2010 European Championships were obtained from the YouTube Web site, and split times were collected from all competitors using frame-by-frame playback. The typical error of video split times ranged between 0.02 s and 0.11 s for the 4 laps when compared with official split times. Video finishing times were also similar to official finishing times (typical error of 0.04 s). The method was shown to be highly reliable with a typical error of 0.02 s when the same video was analyzed on 2 occasions separated by 8 mo. Video data of track races are widely available; however, camera angles are not always perpendicular to the start/finish line, and some slower athletes may cross the line after the camera has panned away. Nevertheless, the typical errors reported here show that when appropriate camera angles are available this method is both valid and reliable.
Graham J. Mytton, David T. Archer, Kevin G. Thompson, Andrew Renfree and Alan St Clair Gibson
Sophie E. Carter, Richard Draijer, Andrew Thompson, Dick H.J. Thijssen and Nicola D. Hopkins
Background: Sedentary behavior is negatively associated with cognition and mood. Adults often engage in high levels of sedentary behavior at work through sitting, which may impact productivity. Consequently, replacing sitting with standing and physical activity (PA) is recommended. However, the associations between sitting, standing, and PA at work and cognition and mood are unknown; this study, therefore, aimed to explore these relationships. Methods: A total of 75 healthy full-time workers (33 male, mean [SD]; 33.6 [10.4] y, 38  work hr/wk) wore sedentary behavior (activPAL) and PA (SenseWear Pro) monitors for 7 days and recorded their work hours. The day after this monitoring period, participants completed cognitive tests (executive function, attention, and working memory) and mood questionnaires (affect, alert, content, and calm). Multiple linear regression analyses examined the associations between cognition and mood and the time spent sitting, standing, and in each PA intensity during work hours, weekday leisure time, and weekends. Results: Workplace sitting, standing, or PA were not significantly associated with cognition or mood (P > .05). No significant associations were observed between these variables during weekday leisure time or weekends (P > .05). Conclusions: In a cohort of healthy workers, workplace sitting, standing, and PA are not associated with cognition or mood. Further research in this population is needed, examining the influence of workplace behaviors on cognition and mood, because this will contribute to evidence-based workplace guidelines to increase productivity.
Susan B. Sisson, Ashley E. Gibson, Kevin Short, Andrew W. Gardner, Teresa Whited, Candace Robledo and David M. Thompson
The purpose of this study was to determine if light physical activity (LPA) minimizes the impairment of cardiometabolic risk factors following a typical meal in adolescents. Eighteen adolescents (50% male, 14.8 ± 2.3 yrs) consumed a meal (32% fat, 14% protein, 53% carbohydrate), then completed a walking (1.5mph for 45 min of each hour) or sitting treatment for 3 hr in randomized order on separate days. Following the meal, HDL cholesterol declined 4.8% but remained higher during walking at 3 hr (42.1mg/dl ± 9.3) than sitting (8.4% decline; 40.5mg/dL ± 9.9; treatment × time interaction, p < .03). The 3-hr insulin was lower after walking (24.8μIU/ml ± 33.4) than sitting (37.8μIU/ml ± 34.7; treatment × time interaction, p < .0001). Triglycerides increased by ~40% above baseline at 1 and 2 hr, with higher values for walking (treatment × time interaction, p < .02). However by 3 hr, triglycerides were not different from baseline. Area under the curve (AUC) analyses were not significantly different between treatments for any outcomes. Although minor, LPA appears to mitigate the undesirable postprandial changes in HDL cholesterol and insulin but not triglycerides, following a typical meal in adolescents.
Deryn Bath, Louise A. Turner, Andrew N. Bosch, Ross Tucker, Estelle V. Lambert, Kevin G. Thompson and Alan St. Clair Gibson
The aim of this study was to examine performance, pacing strategy and perception of effort during a 5 km time trial while running with or without the presence of another athlete.
Eleven nonelite male athletes participated in five 5 km time trials: two self-paced, maximal effort trials performed at the start and end of the study, and three trials performed in the presence of a second runner. In the three trials, the second runner ran either in front of the subject, behind the subject, or next to the subject. Performance times, heart rate, RPE, and a subjective assessment of the effect of the second runner on the athlete’s performance were recorded during each of the trials.
There was no significant difference in performance times, heart rate or RPE between any of the five trials. Running speed declined from the 1st to the 4th kilometer and then increased for the last kilometer in all five trials. Following the completion of all trials, 9 of the 11 subjects perceived it to be easier to complete the 5 km time trial with another runner in comparison with running alone.
While the athletes perceived their performance to be improved by the presence of another runner, their pacing strategy, running speed, heart rate and RPE were not significantly altered. These findings indicate that an athlete’s subconscious pacing strategy is robust and is not altered by the presence of another runner.
Graham J. Mytton, David T. Archer, Louise Turner, Sabrina Skorski, Andrew Renfree, Kevin G. Thompson and Alan St Clair Gibson
Previous literature has presented pacing data of groups of competition finalists. The aim of this study was to analyze the pacing patterns displayed by medalists and nonmedalists in international competitive 400-m swimming and 1500-m running finals.
Split times were collected from 48 swimming finalists (four 100-m laps) and 60 running finalists (4 laps) in international competitions from 2004 to 2012. Using a cross-sectional design, lap speeds were normalized to whole-race speed and compared to identify variations of pace between groups of medalists and nonmedalists. Lap-speed variations relative to the gold medalist were compared for the whole field.
In 400-m swimming the medalist group demonstrated greater variation in speed than the nonmedalist group, being relatively faster in the final lap (P < .001; moderate effect) and slower in laps 1 (P = .03; moderate effect) and 2 (P > .001; moderate effect). There were also greater variations of pace in the 1500-m running medalist group than in the nonmedalist group, with a relatively faster final lap (P = .03; moderate effect) and slower second lap (P = .01; small effect). Swimming gold medalists were relatively faster than all other finalists in lap 4 (P = .04), and running gold medalists were relatively faster than the 5th- to 12th-placed athletes in the final lap (P = .02).
Athletes who win medals in 1500-m running and 400-m swimming competitions show different pacing patterns than nonmedalists. End-spurtspeed increases are greater with medalists, who demonstrate a slower relative speed in the early part of races but a faster speed during the final part of races than nonmedalists.
Mohanraj Krishnan, Andrew N. Shelling, Clare R. Wall, Edwin A. Mitchell, Rinki Murphy, Lesley M.E. McCowan and John M.D. Thompson
Purpose: The decline of physical activity in children is considered an important determinant to explain the rising rates of obesity. However, this risk may be augmented in children who are genetically susceptible to increased weight gain. We hypothesized that a sedentary lifestyle and moderate activity will interact with genetic loci, resulting in differential effects in relation to obesity risk. Methods: We recruited 643 European children born to participants in the New Zealand-based Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study. Seventy gene variants were evaluated by the Sequenom assay. Interaction analyses were performed between the genetic variants and the activity type derived from actigraphy, in relation to percentage body fat. Results: We found a statistically significant association between increased proportions of sedentary activity with increased percentage body fat scores (P = .012). The OLFM4-9568856 (P = .01) and GNPDA2-rs10938397 (P = .044) gene variants showed genotype differences with proportions of sedentary activity. Similarly, the OLFM4-9568856 (P = .021), CLOCK-rs4864548 (P = .029), and LEPR-1045895 (P = .047) showed genotype differences with proportions of moderate activity. We found evidence for unadjusted gene-by-activity interactions of SPACA3/SPRASA-rs16967845, PFKP-rs6602024, and SH2B1-rs7498665 on percentage body fat scores. Conclusions: These findings indicate a differential effect of physical activity in relation to obesity risk, suggesting that children genetically predisposed to increased weight gain may benefit from higher levels of moderate activity.
Andrew J.R. Cochran, Michael E. Percival, Sara Thompson, Jenna B. Gillen, Martin J. MacInnis, Murray A. Potter, Mark A. Tarnopolsky and Martin J. Gibala
Sprint interval training (SIT), repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise, improves skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and exercise performance. β-alanine (β-ALA) supplementation has been shown to enhance exercise performance, which led us to hypothesize that chronic β-ALA supplementation would augment work capacity during SIT and augment training-induced adaptations in skeletal muscle and performance. Twenty-four active but untrained men (23 ± 2 yr; VO2peak = 50 ± 6 mL·kg−1·min−1) ingested 3.2 g/day of β-ALA or a placebo (PLA) for a total of 10 weeks (n = 12 per group). Following 4 weeks of baseline supplementation, participants completed a 6-week SIT intervention. Each of 3 weekly sessions consisted of 4–6 Wingate tests, i.e., 30-s bouts of maximal cycling, interspersed with 4 min of recovery. Before and after the 6-week SIT program, participants completed a 250-kJ time trial and a repeated sprint test. Biopsies (v. lateralis) revealed that skeletal muscle carnosine content increased by 33% and 52%, respectively, after 4 and 10 weeks of β-ALA supplementation, but was unchanged in PLA. Total work performed during each training session was similar across treatments. SIT increased markers of mitochondrial content, including cytochome c oxidase (40%) and β-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase maximal activities (19%), as well as VO2peak (9%), repeated-sprint capacity (5%), and 250-kJ time trial performance (13%), but there were no differences between treatments for any measure (p < .01, main effects for time; p > .05, interaction effects). The training stimulus may have overwhelmed any potential influence of β-ALA, or the supplementation protocol was insufficient to alter the variables to a detectable extent.