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Karen Kunde and James H. Rimmer

The purpose was to compare heart rates and completion times of adults with MR after performing a 1-mi walk test with and without a pacer. Fifteen participants (8 males, 7 females) with mild or moderate mental retardation (M age = 38.8 years ± 10.2) performed the test a minimum of two times with a pacer and two times without a pacer. Analysis of variance revealed no significant difference between genders; thus data were combined for further analysis. Intraclass reliability coefficients (R) for walk time with a pacer, walk time without a pacer, heart rate with a pacer, and heart rate without a pacer were .99, .99, .91, and .95, respectively. Results indicated that the average walk times for the pacer and no pacer conditions were significantly different, t (14) = 3.11, p = .008. The pacer condition resulted in a faster average walk time by approximately 1 min; however, there was no significant difference between conditions on heart rate. Therefore, it is recommended that, when having adults with MR perform a walk test, a pacer should be used to assure maximum performance.

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Michael W. Beets, Kenneth H. Pitetti and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to twofold: to determine reliability of peak performance as measured by peak heart rate (HRpeak) during the Progressive Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and a treadmill stress test (TM); and to compare the PACER and the TM. The sample consisted of 42 participants 8 to 21 years old with mild mental retardation. Participants completed two PACERs followed by two TMs separated by a minimum of 48 hr. Data collected were HR for the PACER and TM; PACER laps completed; and TM endurance time (min). Intraclass correlations were computed separately for males and females in order to assess the reliability of PACER laps, HRpeak, and TM time. Results indicated high reliability for both males and females on PACER laps and TM HRpeak, and for males on PACER HR and TM time; moderate reliability was observed for females on PACER HRpeak and TM time. No significant differences were detected within or among trials. These findings indicate that youth with mild mental retardation exhibit consistent peak performance on the PACER and TM tests; therefore, PACER can be used for surveillance of aerobic fitness in this population.

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Owen Jeffries, Mark Waldron, Stephen D. Patterson and Brook Galna

Pacing refers to an athlete’s distribution of work or energy across an event. 1 , 2 Athletes vary their physical output (ie, mechanical power output) to accommodate physiological or psychological constraints, for strategic racing purposes, or due to changing environmental factors. 2 , 3

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Cyril Schmit, Rob Duffield, Christophe Hausswirth, Jeanick Brisswalter and Yann Le Meur

framework, the present study investigated the respective effects of either high- (HA-H) or low-intensity (HA-L) training sessions in the heat on self-paced endurance performance in well-trained athletes before and after a 1-week taper period. Methods Participants A total of 29 well-trained male triathletes

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Sam S.X. Wu, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Peter Peeling, Jeanick Brisswalter, Wing Y. Lau, Kazunori Nosaka and Chris R. Abbiss

Purpose:

To investigate the effect of 3 swim-pacing profiles on subsequent performance during a sprint-distance triathlon (SDT).

Methods:

Nine competitive/trained male triathletes completed 5 experimental sessions including a graded running exhaustion test, a 750-m swim time trial (STT), and 3 SDTs. The swim times of the 3 SDTs were matched, but pacing was manipulated to induce positive (ie, speed gradually decreasing from 92% to 73% STT), negative (ie, speed gradually increasing from 73% to 92% STT), or even pacing (constant 82.5% STT). The remaining disciplines were completed at a self-selected maximal pace. Speed over the entire triathlon, power output during the cycle discipline, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) for each discipline, and heart rate during the cycle and run were determined.

Results:

Faster cycle and overall triathlon times were achieved with positive swim pacing (30.5 ± 1.8 and 65.9 ± 4.0 min, respectively), as compared with the even (31.4 ± 1.0 min, P = .018 and 67.7 ± 3.9 min, P = .034, effect size [ES] = 0.46, respectively) and negative (31.8 ± 1.6 min, P = .011 and 67.3 ± 3.7 min, P = .041, ES = 0.36, respectively) pacing. Positive swim pacing elicited a lower RPE (9 ± 2) than negative swim pacing (11 ± 2, P = .014). No differences were observed in the other measured variables.

Conclusions:

A positive swim pacing may improve overall SDT performance and should be considered by both elite and age-group athletes during racing.

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Jo Corbett

Purpose:

To investigate pacing strategy during the 1-km time trial (TT) and 3- and 4-km individual pursuit (IP), in elite cyclists.

Methods:

Total times and intermediate times were obtained from the 2007 and 2008 cycling World Championships in the 1-km TT and 2006, 2007, and 2008 World Championships in the 3- and 4-km IP. Data were analyzed to examine the pacing-profiles employed and pacing strategies of “slow” and “fast” performances.

Results:

Similar pacing-profiles were evident in each event, which were characterized by an initial acceleration followed by a progressive decay in split times. In the 1-km TT, the first 250-m split time was a primary determinant of total time, whereas the rate of fatigue over the remainder of the race did not discriminate between performances. The first 250-m split time was also related to total time in the 3- and 4-km IP, although to a lesser extent than in the 1-km TT, whereas the ability to maintain a consistent pacing-profile was of increased importance. There were differences in the pacing strategies of slow and fast performances in the 3- and 4-km IP, with slow performances characterized by an overly quick start with a concomitant slowing at the finish.

Conclusion:

The pacing profiles adopted were similar to the optimal pacing strategies proposed in simulation models of cycling performance. However, in the 3-km and 4-km IP small alterations in pacing strategy appear to be important, at the elite level.

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Marije T. Elferink-Gemser and Florentina J. Hettinga

Pacing has been characterized as a multifaceted goal-directed process of decision making in which athletes need to decide how and when to invest their energy during the race, a process essential for optimal performance. Both physiological and psychological characteristics associated with adequate pacing and performance are known to develop with age. Consequently, the multifaceted skill of pacing might be under construction throughout adolescence, as well. Therefore, the authors propose that the complex skill of pacing is a potential important performance characteristic for talented youth athletes that needs to be developed throughout adolescence. To explore whether pacing is a marker for talent and how talented athletes develop this skill in middle-distance and endurance sports, they aim to bring together literature on pacing and literature on talent development and self-regulation of learning. Subsequently, by applying the cyclical process of self-regulation to pacing, they propose a practical model for the development of performance in endurance sports in youth athletes. Not only is self-regulation essential throughout the process of reaching the long-term goal of athletic excellence, but it also seems crucial for the development of pacing skills within a race and the development of a refined performance template based on previous experiences. Coaches and trainers are advised to incorporate pacing as a performance characteristic in their talent-development programs by stimulating their athletes to reflect, plan, monitor, and evaluate their races on a regular basis to build performance templates and, as such, improve their performance.

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Daniel S. Rooks, Bernard J. Ransil and Wilson C. Hayes

The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of 16 weeks of self-paced resistance training or walking protocols on neuromotor and functional parameters in active, community-dwelling older adults. Twenty-two sequentially recruited older adults were randomly assigned to one of two exercise groups: self-paced resistance training and self-paced walking. Static and dynamic balance, upper and lower extremity reaction times, muscle strength, and stairclimbing speed were measured before and immediately after 16 weeks of exercise. Preliminary data showed that 16 weeks of self-paced. progressive, lower body resistance training improved balance (one-legged stance with eyes open, 68%). reaction time (10%), muscle strength (160%), and stair climbing speed (28%), while a self-paced walking program improved balance (one-legged stance with eyes open, 51%), stair climbing speed (16%), and in certain circumstances muscle strength (25%), in active, community-dwelling older adults.

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Danielle Lambrick, Alex Rowlands, Thomas Rowland and Roger Eston

Prior experience of fatiguing tasks is considered essential to establishing an optimal pacing strategy. This study examined the pacing behavior of inexperienced children during self-paced, 800 m running, both individually and within a competitive environment. Thirteen children (aged 9−11 y) completed a graded-exercise test to volitional exhaustion on a treadmill (laboratory trial), followed by three self-paced, individual 800 m time-trials (Trials 1−3) and one self-paced, competitive 800 m time-trial (Trial 4) on an outdoor athletics track. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and heart rate (HR) were measured throughout all trials. Overall performance time improved from Trial 1−3 (250.1 ± 50.4 s & 242.4 ± 51.5 s, respectively, p < .017). The difference in overall performance time between Trials 3 and 4 (260.5 ± 54.2 s) was approaching significance (p = .06). The pacing strategy employed from the outset was consistent across all trials. These findings dispute the notion that an optimal pacing strategy is learned with exercise experience or training.

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Nicolas Fabre, Stéphane Perrey, Loïc Arbez and Jean-Denis Rouillon

Purpose:

This study aimed (1) to determine whether paced breathing (synchronization of the expiration phase with poling time) would reduce the metabolic rate and dictate a lower rate of perceived exertion (RPE) than does spontaneous breathing and (2) to analyze the effects of paced breathing on poling forces and stride-mechanics organization during roller-ski skating exercises.

Methods:

Thirteen well-trained cross-country skiers performed 8 submaximal roller-skiing exercises on a motorized driven treadmill with 4 modes of skiing (2 skating techniques, V2 and V2A, at 2 exercise intensities) by using 2 patterns of breathing (unconscious vs conscious). Poling forces and stride-mechanics organization were measured with a transducer mounted in ski poles. Oxygen uptake (VO2) was continuously collected. After each bout of exercise RPE was assessed by the subject.

Results:

No difference was observed for VO2 between spontaneous and paced breathing conditions, although RPE was lower with paced breathing (P < .05). Upper-limb cycle time and recovery time were significantly (P < .05) increased by paced breathing during V2A regardless of the exercise intensity, but no changes for poling time were observed. A slight trend of increased peak force with paced breathing was observed (P = .055).

Conclusion:

The lack of a marked effect of paced breathing on VO2 and some biomechanical variables could be explained by the extensive experience of our subjects in cross-country skiing.