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  • Author: Guillaume Y. Millet x
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Katja Tomazin, Jean-Benoit Morin and Guillaume Y. Millet

Purpose:

To compare neuromuscular fatigue induced by repeated-sprint running vs cycling.

Methods:

Eleven active male participants performed 2 repeated-maximal-sprint protocols (5×6 s, 24-s rest periods, 4 sets, 3 min between sets), 1 in running (treadmill) and 1 in cycling (cycle ergometer). Neuromuscular function, evaluated before (PRE); 30 s after the first (S1), the second (S2), and the last set (LAST); and 5 min after the last set (POST5) determined the knee-extensor maximal voluntary torque (MVC); voluntary activation (VA); single-twitch (Tw), high- (Db100), and low- (Db10) frequency torque; and maximal muscle compound action potential (M-wave) amplitude and duration of vastus lateralis.

Results:

Peak power output decreased from 14.6 ± 2.2 to 12.4 ± 2.5 W/kg in cycling (P < .01) and from 21.4 ± 2.6 to 15.2 ± 2.6 W/kg in running (P < .001). MVC declined significantly from S1 in running but only from LAST in cycling. VA decreased after S2 (~–7%, P < .05) and LAST (~–9%, P < .01) set in repeated-sprint running and did not change in cycling. Tw, Db100, and Db10/Db100 decreased to a similar extent in both protocols (all P < .001 post-LAST). Both protocols induced a similar level of peripheral fatigue (ie, low-frequency peripheral fatigue, no changes in M-wave characteristics), while underlying mechanisms probably differed. Central fatigue was found only after running.

Conclusion:

Findings about neuromuscular fatigue resulting from RS cycling cannot be transferred to RS running.

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Francis Degache, Jean-Benoît Morin, Lukas Oehen, Kenny Guex, Guido Giardini, Federico Schena, Guillaume Y. Millet and Grégoire P. Millet

The aim of study was to examine the effects of the world’s most challenging mountain ultramarathon (Tor des Géants [TdG]) on running mechanics. Mechanical measurements were undertaken in male runners (n = 16) and a control group (n = 8) before (PRE), during (MID), and after (POST) the TdG. Contact (t c) and aerial (t a) times, step frequency (f), and running velocity (v) were sampled. Spring-mass parameters of peak vertical ground-reaction force (F max), vertical downward displacement of the center of mass (Δz), leg-length change (ΔL), and vertical (k vert) and leg (k leg) stiffness were computed. Significant decreases were observed in runners between PRE and MID for t a (P < .001), F max (P < .001), Δz (P < .05), and k leg (P < .01). In contrast, f significantly increased (P < .05) between PRE and MID-TdG. No further changes were observed at POST for any of those variables, with the exception of k leg, which went back to PRE. During the TdG, experienced runners modified their running pattern and spring-mass behavior mainly during the first half. The current results suggest that these mechanical changes aim at minimizing the pain occurring in lower limbs mainly during the eccentric phases. One cannot rule out that this switch to a “safer” technique may also aim to anticipate further damages.

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Tatiane Piucco, Rogério Soares, Fernando Diefenthaeler, Guillaume Y. Millet and Juan M. Murias

Purpose: To compare the oxygen-uptake (V˙O2) kinetics during skating on a treadmill and skating on a slide board and to discuss potential mechanisms that might control the V˙O2 kinetics responses during skating. Methods: Breath-by-breath pulmonary V˙O2 and near-infrared spectroscopy–derived muscle deoxygenated hemoglobin and myoglobin ([HHbMb]) were monitored continuously in 12 well-trained, young, long-track speed skaters. On-transient V˙O2 and [HHbMb] responses to skating on a treadmill and skating on a slide board at 80% of the estimated gas exchange threshold were fitted as monoexponential function. The signals were time-aligned, and the individual [HHbMb]-to-V˙O2 ratio was calculated as the average value from 20 to 120 s after exercise starts. Results: The time constants for the adjustment of phase II V˙O2V˙O2) and [HHbMb] (τ [HHbMb]) were low and similar between slide board and treadmill skating (18.1 [3.4] vs 18.9 [3.6] for τ V˙O2 and 12.6 [4.0] vs 12.4 [4.0] s for τ [HHbMb]). The [HHbMb]:V˙O2 ratio was not different from 1.0 (P > .05) in both conditions. Conclusions: The fast V˙O2 kinetics during skating suggest that chronic adaptation to skating might overcome any possible restriction in leg blood flow during low-intensity exercise. The V˙O2 ratio values also suggest a good matching of O2 delivery to O2 utilization in trained speed skaters. The similar τ V˙O2 and τ [HHbMb] values between slide board and treadmill further reinforce the validity of using a slide board for skating testing and training purposes.

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Tatiane Piucco, Fernando Diefenthaeler, Rogério Soares, Juan M. Murias and Guillaume Y. Millet

Purpose: To investigate the criterion validity of a maximal incremental skating test performed on a slide board (SB). Methods: Twelve subelite speed skaters performed a maximal skating test on a treadmill and on a SB. Gas exchange threshold (GET), respiratory compensation point (RCP), and maximal variables were determined. Results: Oxygen uptake (V˙O2) (31.0 ± 3.2 and 31.4 ± 4.1 mL·min−1·kg−1), percentage of maximal V˙O2 (V˙O2max) (66.3 ± 4 and 67.7 ± 7.1%), HR (153 ± 14 and 150 ±12 bpm), and ventilation (59.8 ± 11.8 and 57.0 ± 10.7 L·min−1) at GET, and V˙O2 (42.5 ± 4.4 and 42.9 ± 4.8 mL·min−1·kg−1), percentage of V˙O2max (91.1 ± 3.3 and 92.4 ± 2.1%), heart rate (HR) (178 ± 9 and 178 ± 6 bpm), and ventilation (96.5 ± 19.2 and 92.1 ± 12.7 L·min−1) at RCP were not different between skating on a treadmill and on a SB. V˙O2max (46.7 ± 4.4 vs 46.4 ±6.1 mL·min−1·kg−1) and maximal HR (195 ± 6 vs 196 ± 10 bpm) were not significantly different and correlated (r = .80 and r = .87, respectively; P < .05) between the treadmill and SB. V˙O2 at GET, RCP, and V˙O2max obtained on a SB were correlated (r > .8) with athletes’ best times on 1500 m. Conclusions: The incremental skating test on a SB was capable to distinguish maximal (V˙O2 and HR) and submaximal (V˙O2, % V˙O2max, HR, and ventilation) parameters known to determine endurance performance. Therefore, the SB test can be considered as a specific and practical alternative to evaluate speed skaters.

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Arthur H. Bossi, Guilherme G. Matta, Guillaume Y. Millet, Pedro Lima, Leonardo C. Pertence, Jorge P. de Lima and James G. Hopker

Purpose:

To describe pacing strategy in a 24-h running race and its interaction with sex, age group, athletes’ performance group, and race edition.

Methods:

Data from 398 male and 103 female participants of 5 editions were obtained based on a minimum 19.2-h effective-running cutoff. Mean running speed from each hour was normalized to the 24-h mean speed for analyses.

Results:

Mean overall performance was 135.6 ± 33.0 km with a mean effective-running time of 22.4 ± 1.3 h. Overall data showed a reverse J-shaped pacing strategy, with a significant reduction in speed from the second-to-last to the last hour. Two-way mixed ANOVAs showed significant interactions between racing time and both athlete performance group (F = 7.01, P < .001, ηp 2 = .04) and race edition (F = 3.01, P < .001, ηp 2 = .02) but not between racing time and either sex (F = 1.57, P = .058, ηp 2 < .01) or age group (F = 1.25, P = .053, ηp 2 = .01). Pearson product–moment correlations showed an inverse moderate association between performance and normalized mean running speed in the first 2 h (r = –.58, P < .001) but not in the last 2 h (r = .03, P = .480).

Conclusions:

While the general behavior represents a rough reverse J-shaped pattern, the fastest runners start at lower relative intensities and display a more even pacing strategy than slower runners. The “herd behavior” seems to interfere with pacing strategy across editions, but not sex or age group of runners.