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  • Author: Tammie R. Ebert x
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Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin, Brian Stephens, Warren McDonald and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

To quantify the fluid and food consumed during a men’s and women’s professional road-cycling tour.

Methods:

Eight men (age 25 ± 5 y, body mass ± 7.4 kg, and height 177.4 ± 4.5 cm) and 6 women (age 26 ± 4 y, body mass ± 5.6 kg, and height 170.4 ± 5.2 cm) of the Australian Institute of Sport Road Cycling squads participated in the study. The men competed in the 6-d Tour Down Under (Adelaide, Australia), and the women, in the 10-d Tour De L’Aude (Aude, France). Body mass was recorded before and immediately after the race. Cyclists recalled the number of water bottles and amount of food they had consumed.

Results:

Men and women recorded body-mass losses of ~2 kg (2.8% body mass) and 1.5 kg (2.6% body mass), respectively, per stage during the long road races. Men had an average fluid intake of 1.0 L/h, whereas women only consumed on average 0.4 L/h. In addition, men consumed CHO at the rate suggested by dietitians (average CHO intake of 48 g/h), but again the women failed to reach recommendations, with an average intake of ~21 g/h during a road stage.

Conclusions:

Men appeared to drink and eat during racing in accordance with current nutritional recommendations, but women failed to reach these guidelines. Both men and women finished their races with a body-mass loss of ~2.6% to 2.8%. Further research is required to determine the impact of this loss on road-cycling performance and thermoregulation.

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Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin, Brian Stephens and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

To quantify the power-output demands of men’s road-cycling stage racing using a direct measure of power output.

Methods:

Power-output data were collected from 207 races over 6 competition years on 31 Australian national male road cyclists. Subjects performed a maximal graded exercise test in the laboratory to determine maximum aerobic-power output, and bicycles were fitted with SRM power meters. Races were described as fl at, hilly, or criterium, and linear mixed modeling was used to compare the races.

Results:

Criterium was the shortest race and displayed the highest mean power output (criterium 262 ± 30 v hilly 203 ± 32 v fl at 188 ± 30 W), percentage total race time above 7.5 W/kg (crite-rium 15.5% ± 4.1% v hilly 3.8% ± 1.7% v fl at 3.5% ± 1.4%) and SD in power output (criterium 250 v hilly 165 v fl at 169 W). Approximately 67%, 80%, and 85% of total race time was spent below 5 W/kg for criterium, hilly and fl at races, respectively. About 70, 40, and 20 sprints above maximum aerobic-power output occurred during criterium, hilly, and fl at races, respectively, with most sprints being 6 to 10 s.

Conclusions:

These data extend previous research documenting the demands of men’s road cycling. Despite the relatively low mean power output, races were characterized by multiple high-intensity surges above maximum aerobic-power output. These data can be used to develop sport-specific interval-training programs that replicate the demands of competition.

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Christos K. Argus, Matthew W. Driller, Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin and Shona L. Halson

Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of different recovery strategies on repeat cycling performance where a short duration between exercise bouts is required.

Methods:

Eleven highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age = 31 ± 6 y, mass = 74.6 ± 10.6 kg, height = 180.5 ± 8.1 cm) completed 4 trials each consisting of three 30-s maximal sprints (S1, S2, S3) on a cycle ergometer, separated by 20-min recovery periods. In a counterbalanced, crossover design, each trial involved subjects performing 1 of 4 recovery strategies: compression garments (COMP), electronic muscle stimulation (EMS), humidification therapy (HUM), and a passive control (CON). The sprint tests implemented a 60-s preload (at an intensity of 4.5 W/kg) before a 30-s maximal sprint. Mean power outputs (W) for the 3 sprints, in combination with perceived recovery and blood lactate concentration, were used to examine the effect of each recovery strategy.

Results:

In CON, S2 and S3 were (mean ± SD) –2.1% ± 3.9% and –3.1% ± 4.2% lower than S1, respectively. Compared with CON, COMP resulted in a higher mean power output from S1 to S2 (mean ± 90%CL: 0.8% ± 1.2%; possibly beneficial) and from S1 to S3 (1.2% ± 1.9%; possibly beneficial), while HUM showed a higher mean power output from S1 to S3 (2.2% ± 2.5%; likely beneficial) relative to CON.

Conclusion:

The authors suggest that both COMP and HUM may be effective strategies to enhance recovery between repeated sprint-cycling bouts separated by ~30 min.

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Shona L. Halson, Marc J. Quod, David T. Martin, Andrew S. Gardner, Tammie R. Ebert and Paul B. Laursen

Cold water immersion (CWI) has become a popular means of enhancing recovery from various forms of exercise. However, there is minimal scientific information on the physiological effects of CWI following cycling in the heat.

Purpose:

To examine the safety and acute thermoregulatory, cardiovascular, metabolic, endocrine, and inflammatory responses to CWI following cycling in the heat.

Methods:

Eleven male endurance trained cyclists completed two simulated ~40-min time trials at 34.3 ± 1.1°C. All subjects completed both a CWI trial (11.5°C for 60 s repeated three times) and a control condition (CONT; passive recovery in 24.2 ± 1.8°C) in a randomized cross-over design. Capillary blood samples were assayed for lactate, glucose, pH, and blood gases. Venous blood samples were assayed for catecholamines, cortisol, testosterone, creatine kinase, C-reactive protein, IL-6, and IGF-1 on 7 of the 11 subjects. Heart rate (HR), rectal (Tre), and skin temperatures (Tsk) were measured throughout recovery.

Results:

CWI elicited a significantly lower HR (CWI: Δ116 ± 9 bpm vs. CONT: Δ106 ± 4 bpm; P = .02), Tre (CWI: Δ1.99 ± 0.50°C vs. CONT: Δ1.49 ± 0.50°C; P = .01) and Tsk. However, all other measures were not significantly different between conditions. All participants subjectively reported enhanced sensations of recovery following CWI.

Conclusion:

CWI did not result in hypothermia and can be considered safe following high intensity cycling in the heat, using the above protocol. CWI significantly reduced heart rate and core temperature; however, all other metabolic and endocrine markers were not affected by CWI.