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Stephen D. Patterson and Richard A. Ferguson

The response of calf-muscle strength, resting blood flow, and postocclusive blood flow (PObf) were investigated after 4 wk of low-load resistance training (LLRT) with and without blood-flow restriction in a matched-leg design. Ten untrained older individuals age 62–73 yr performed unilateral plantar-flexion LLRT at 25% 1-repetition maximum (1RM). One limb was trained with normal blood flow and the other had blood flow restricted using a pressure cuff above the knee. 1RM, isometric maximal voluntary contraction, and isokinetic strength at 0.52 rad/s increased (p < .05) more after LLRT with blood-flow restriction than with normal blood flow. Peak PObf increased (p < .05) after LLRT with blood-flow restriction, compared with no change after LLRT with normal blood flow. These results suggest that 4 wk of LLRT with blood-flow restriction may be beneficial to older individuals to improve strength and blood-flow parameters.

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Naroa Etxebarria, Shaun D’Auria, Judith M. Anson, David B. Pyne and Richard A. Ferguson

Purpose:

The patterns of power output in the ~1-h cycle section of Olympic-distance triathlon races are not well documented. Here the authors establish a typical cycling-race profile derived from several International Triathlon Union elite-level draftinglegal triathlon races.

Methods:

The authors collated 12 different race power profiles from elite male triathletes (N = 5, age 25 ± 5 y, body mass 65.5 ± 5.6 kg; mean ± SD) during 7 international races. Power output was recorded using SRM cranks and analyzed with proprietary software.

Results:

The mean power output was 252 ± 33 W, or 3.9 ± 0.5 W/kg in relative terms, with a coefficient of variation of 71% ± 13%. Normalized power (power output an athlete could sustain if intensity were maintained constant without any variability) for the entire cycle section was 291 ± 29 W, or 40 ± 13 W higher than the actual mean power output. There were 34 ± 14 peaks of power output above 600 W and ~18% time spent at >100% of maximal aerobic power.

Conclusion:

Cycling during Olympic-distance triathlon, characterized by frequent and large power variations including repeat supramaximal efforts, equates to a higher workload than cycling at constant power.

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Naroa Etxebarria, Judith M. Anson, David B. Pyne and Richard A. Ferguson

Purpose:

To determine how cycling with a variable (triathlon-specific) power distribution affects subsequent running performance and quantify relationships between an individual cycling power profile and running ability after cycling.

Methods:

Twelve well-trained male triathletes (VO2peak 4.9 ± 0.5 L/min; mass 73.5 ± 7.7 kg; mean ± SD) undertook a cycle VO2peak and maximal aerobic power (MAP) test and a power profile involving 6 maximal efforts (6 s to 10 min). Each subject then performed 2 experimental 1-h cycle trials, both at a mean power of 65% MAP, at either variable power (VAR) ranging from 40% to 140% MAP or constant power (CON) followed by an outdoor 9.3-km time-trial run. Subjects also completed a control 9.3-km run with no preceding exercise.

Results:

The 9.3-km run time was 42 ± 37 s slower (mean ± 90% confidence limits [CL]) after VAR (35:32 ± 3:18 min:s, mean ± SD) compared with CON cycling (34:50 ± 2:49 min:s). This decrement after VAR appeared primarily in the first half of the run (35 ± 20 s; mean ± 90% CL). Higher blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion after 1 h VAR cycling were moderately correlated (r = .51–.55; ± ~.40) with a larger decrement in run performance. There were no clear associations between the power-profile test and decrement in run time after VAR compared with CON.

Conclusions:

A highly variable power distribution in cycling is likely to impair 10-km triathlon run performance. Training to lower physiological and perceptual responses during cycling should limit the negative effects on triathlon running.