Effort regulation in rowing races depends on performance level and exercise mode

Morgan R Brown, Simon Delau, Fran├žois D Desgorces
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 2010, 13 (6): 613-7
This study investigated the influence of performance level and exercise mode on the rowers' pacing strategies. On-water and indoor split times and placements (every 500-m) were obtained from individual 2000-m performances set at the elite, national and sub-elite competitive levels. The data was sorted into indoor (n=580) and on-water exercises (n=507). Indoor and on-water strategies statistically differed, whatever the competition level (p<0.001). Analysis of absolute and normalised velocities demonstrated higher and steadier paces in elite races compared to national and sub-elite races (p<0.001). On water, intermediate placements highlighted the great influence of taking the front of the race particularly at the elite level (at the elite level 78% of the winners were first at the middle of the race and 100% were in the first three). A "parabolic-shaped" profile could describe all races but performance level and exercise mode may alter this effort regulation to even (elite races) or positive paces (national and sub-elite indoor races). The even paces reported as the optimal strategy were not observed in lower performance levels probably because of rowers' inability to combine higher physiological effort and technical requirements of on-water rowing. Training exercise may account for these paces differences, according to the athletes' competitive level and to exercise mode.

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