JOURNAL ARTICLE

Consistency of pacing and metabolic responses during 2000-m rowing ergometry

Thomas I Gee, Duncan N French, Karl C Gibbon, Kevin G Thompson
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 2013, 8 (1): 70-6
22868257

PURPOSE: This study investigated the pacing strategy adopted and the consistency of performance and related physiological parameters across three 2000-m rowing-ergometer tests.

METHODS: Fourteen male well-trained rowers took part in the study. Each participant performed three 2000-m rowing-ergometer tests interspersed by 3-7 d. Throughout the trials, respiratory exchange and heart rate were recorded and power output and stroke rate were analyzed over each 500 m of the test. At the completion of the trial, assessments of blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion were measured.

RESULTS: Ergometer performance was unchanged across the 3 trials; however, pacing strategy changed from trial 1, which featured a higher starting power output and more progressive decrease in power, to trials 2 and 3, which were characterized by a more conservative start and an end spurt with increased power output during the final 500 m. Mean typical error (TE; %) across the three 2000-m trials was 2.4%, and variability was low to moderate for all assessed physiological variables (TE range = 1.4-5.1%) with the exception of peak lactate (TE = 11.5%).

CONCLUSIONS: Performance and physiological responses during 2000-m rowing ergometry were found to be consistent over 3 trials. The variations observed in pacing strategy between trial 1 and trials 2 and 3 suggest that a habituation trial is required before an intervention study and that participants move from a positive to a reverse-J-shaped strategy, which may partly explain conflicting reports in the pacing strategy exhibited during 2000-m rowing-ergometer trials.

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