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Peter Ibbott, Nick Ball, Marijke Welvaert and Kevin G. Thompson

Pacing is a well-researched area 1 and has been defined as the distribution of energy during exercise that is considered optimal when the athlete has used all available energetic resources efficiently. 2 Pacing strategy has also been defined as the achievement of the desired outcome, without

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Carol A. Parise and Martin D. Hoffman

Background:

Even pacing has been recommended for optimal performances in running distances up to 100 km. Trail ultramarathons traverse varied terrain, which does not allow for even pacing.

Purpose:

This study examined differences in how runners of various abilities paced their efforts in the Western States Endurance Run (WSER), a 161 km trail ultramarathon in North America, under hot vs cooler temperatures.

Method:

Temperatures in 2006 (hot) and 2007 (cooler) ranged from 7-38°C and 2-30°C, respectively. Arrival times at 13 checkpoints were recorded for 50 runners who finished the race in both years. After stratification into three groups based on finish time in 2007 (<22, 22-24, 24-30 h), paired t tests were used to compare the difference in pace across checkpoints between the years within each group. The χ2 test was used to compare differences between the groups on the number of segments run slower in the hot vs cooler years.

Results:

For all groups, mean pace across the entire 161 km race was slower in 2006 than in 2007 (9:23 ± 1:13 min/km vs 8:42 ± 1:15 min/km, P < .001) and the pace was slower from the start of the race when temperatures were still relatively cool. Overall, the <22 h cohort ran slower in 2006 than 2007 over 12 of the 14 segments examined, the 22–24 h cohort was slower across 10 of the segments, and the >24 h cohort was slower across only 6 of the segments χ2 2 = 6.00, P = .050). Comparable pacing between the 2 y corresponded with onset of nighttime and cooling temperatures.

Conclusions:

Extreme heat impairs all runners’ ability to perform in 161 km ultramarathons, but faster runners are at a greater disadvantage compared with slower competitors because they complete a greater proportion of the race in the hotter conditions.

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Deryn Bath, Louise A. Turner, Andrew N. Bosch, Ross Tucker, Estelle V. Lambert, Kevin G. Thompson and Alan St. Clair Gibson

Purpose:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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.

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James S. Hogg, James G. Hopker and Alexis R. Mauger

Purpose:

The novel self-paced maximal-oxygen-uptake (VO2max) test (SPV) may be a more suitable alternative to traditional maximal tests for elite athletes due to the ability to self-regulate pace. This study aimed to examine whether the SPV can be administered on a motorized treadmill.

Methods:

Fourteen highly trained male distance runners performed a standard graded exercise test (GXT), an incline-based SPV (SPVincline), and a speed-based SPV (SPVspeed). The GXT included a plateau-verification stage. Both SPV protocols included 5 × 2-min stages (and a plateau-verification stage) and allowed for self-pacing based on fixed increments of rating of perceived exertion: 11, 13, 15, 17, and 20. The participants varied their speed and incline on the treadmill by moving between different marked zones in which the tester would then adjust the intensity.

Results:

There was no significant difference (P = .319, ES = 0.21) in the VO2max achieved in the SPVspeed (67.6 ± 3.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 65.6–69.7 mL · kg−1 · min−1) compared with that achieved in the GXT (68.6 ± 6.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 65.1–72.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1). Participants achieved a significantly higher VO2max in the SPVincline (70.6 ± 4.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 68.1–73.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1) than in either the GXT (P = .027, ES = 0.39) or SPVspeed (P = .001, ES = 0.76).

Conclusions:

The SPVspeed protocol produces VO2max values similar to those obtained in the GXT and may represent a more appropriate and athlete-friendly test that is more oriented toward the variable speed found in competitive sport.

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Derek Breen, Michelle Norris, Robin Healy and Ross Anderson

An optimal pacing strategy during running events efficiently uses all energy resources by the end of the race while maintaining a steady rate of expenditure throughout the race. 1 Choosing an optimal pacing strategy for a specific event depends on a variety of factors such as the duration of the

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Bruno Ferreira Viana, Flávio Oliveira Pires, Allan Inoue and Tony Meireles Santos

1000 W at the outset of an XCO race, 3 thus supporting the suggestion that a fast-start pacing strategy is the most-used strategy in XCO races. 2 , 4 Because of this fast-start pacing, XCO athletes usually decrease power output as the race progresses so that the time to complete each lap increases. 1

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Marco J. Konings and Florentina J. Hettinga

The regulation of the exercise intensity over an exercise bout, a process known as pacing, is widely recognized as an essential determinant of performance. 1 In this regulatory mechanism, the sensation of fatigue and a willingness to tolerate discomfort in anticipation of future rewards appear to

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Arthur H. Bossi, Ciaran O’Grady, Richard Ebreo, Louis Passfield and James G. Hopker

field. Among the factors underpinning endurance cycling performance, pacing strategy is one of the most studied. 6 , 7 Descriptive 8 – 10 and experimental 11 – 13 studies have been published across disciplines, and, interestingly, a variable gradient course has been considered an extra challenge to

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Marco J. Konings and Florentina J. Hettinga

To achieve optimal performance, it is essential for athletes to use their available energetic resources efficiently. 1 Therefore, athletes are required to continuously decide how and when to invest their available energy in a process that is known as pacing. 2 In this respect, modeling studies

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Luis Rodriguez and Santiago Veiga

about open water swimming events describes the year-to-year (2000–2012) evolution of the swimming paces, 1 as well as the physical characteristics of elite-level swimmers. 1 , 4 However, little is known about the distribution of the effort among competitors from the beginning to the end of races, also