Variable power output during cycling improves subsequent treadmill run time to exhaustion

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Suriano, R, Vercruyssen, F, Bishop, David ORCID: 0000-0002-6956-9188 and Brisswalter, J (2007) Variable power output during cycling improves subsequent treadmill run time to exhaustion. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 10 (4). pp. 244-251. ISSN 1440-2440


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of constant versus variable power output cycling exercise on subsequent high-intensity, running performance. Eight triathletes completed two testing sessions (in a random order), which required the subjects to perform 30 min of cycling at either, a constant power output (90% of the lactate threshold), or a variable power output with power output alternating every 5 min (±20% of the constant workload). Each cycling bout was immediately followed by a high-intensity treadmill run (16.7 ± 0.7 km h−1) to exhaustion. No significant differences were found for mean metabolic values or power output between cycling conditions. However, a significant (P < 0.05) improvement in run time to exhaustion was reported after 30 min of variable cycling (15:09 ± 4:43 min) compared to constant cycling (10:51 ± 3:32 min). The results of this study demonstrate that, despite similar average physiological responses during 30 min of cycling, variable-intensity cycling results in an improved running performance compared to constant-intensity cycling. It is hypothesised that the reduced power output in the final 5 min of variable cycling protocol may allow recovery before transition, however the mechanisms involved cannot be determined from the current study.

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Additional Information

Online ISSN: 1878-1861

Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.jsams.2006.06.019
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID22076. physical education and training, cycling, exercise tests, treadmills, physical endurance, running, triathlons
Citations in Scopus 21 - View on Scopus
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