Influence of starting strategy on cycling time trial performance in the heat

C R Abbiss, J J Peiffer, B A Wall, D T Martin, P B Laursen
International Journal of Sports Medicine 2009, 30 (3): 188-93
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of starting strategy on time trial performance in the heat. Eleven endurance trained male cyclists (30+/-5 years, 79.5+/-4.6 kg, VO(2max) 58.5+/-5.0 ml x kg x (-1) min(-1)) performed four 20-km time trials in the heat (32.7+/-0.7 degrees C and 55% relative humidity). The first time trial was completed at a self-selected pace (SPTT). During the following time trials, subjects performed the initial 2.5-km at power outputs 10% above (10% ATT), 10% below (10% BTT) or equal (ETT) to that of the average power during the initial 2.5-km of the self-selected trial; the remaining 17.5-km was self-paced. Throughout each time trial, power output, rectal temperature, skin temperature, heat storage, pain intensity and thermal sensation were taken. Despite significantly (P<0.05) greater power outputs for 10% BTT (273+/-45W) compared with the ETT (267+/-48W) and 10% ATT (265+/-41W) during the final 17.5-km, overall 20-km performance time was not significantly different amongst trials. There were no differences in any of the other measured variables between trials. These data show that varying starting power by +/-10% did not affect 20 km time trial performance in the heat.

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