Ventilatory responses during experimental cycle-run transition in triathletes

Abstract : PURPOSE AND METHODS: To determine the effects of cycling on a subsequent triathlon run, nine male triathletes underwent four successive laboratory trials: 1) an incremental treadmill test, 2) an incremental cycle test, 3) 30 min of cycling followed by 5 km of running (C-R), and 4) 30 min of running followed by 5 km of running (R-R). Before and 10 min after the third and fourth trials, the triathletes underwent pulmonary function testing including spirometry and diffusing capacity testing for carbon monoxide (DL(CO)). During the C-R and R-R trials, arterialized blood samples were obtained to measure arterial oxygen pressure (PaO2). During all trials, ventilatory data were collected every minute using an automated breath-by-breath system. RESULTS: The results showed that 1) the oxygen uptake (VO2) observed during subsequent running was similar for the C-R and R-R trials; 2) the ventilatory response (VE) during the first 8 min of subsequent running was significantly greater in the C-R than in R-R trial (P < 0.05); 3) only the C-R trial induced a significant increase (P < 0.05) in residual volume (RV), functional residual capacity (FRC), and the ratio of residual volume to total lung capacity (RV/TLC); and 4) although a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in DL(CO) was noted after C-R, no difference between the two exercise trials was found for the maximal drop in PaO2. CONCLUSIONS: We concluded that 1) the C-R trial induced specific alterations in pulmonary function that may be associated with respiratory muscle fatigue and/or exercise-induced hypoxemia, and 2) the greater VE observed during the first minute of running after cycling was due to the specificity of cycling. This reinforces the necessity for triathletes to practice multi-trial training to stimulate the physiological responses experienced during the swim-cycle and the cycle-run transitions.
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Olivier Hue, Daniel Le Gallais, Alain Boussana, Didier Chollet, Christian Prefaut. Ventilatory responses during experimental cycle-run transition in triathletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 1999, pp.1422-1428. ⟨hal-00720412⟩

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