International SportMed Journal - Volume 10, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 10, Issue 1, 2009
Source: International SportMed Journal 10, pp 1 –15 (2009)More Less
Cadence or pedal rate is widely accepted as an important factor influencing economy of motion, power output, perceived exertion and the development of fatigue during cycling. As a result, the cadence selected by a cyclist's could have a significant influence on their performance. Despite this, the cadence that optimises performance during an individual cycling task is currently unclear. The purpose of this review therefore was to examine the relevant literature surrounding cycling cadence in order provide a greater understanding of how different cadences might optimise cycling performance. Based on research to date, it would appear that relatively high pedal rates (100-120rpm) improve sprint cycling performance, since muscle force and neuromuscular fatigue are reduced, and cycling power output maximised at such pedal rates. However, extremely high cadences increase the metabolic cost of cycling. Therefore prolonged cycling (i.e. road time trials) may benefit from a slightly reduced cadence (∼90-100rpm). During ultra-endurance cycling (i.e. >4h), performance might be improved through the use of a relatively low cadence (70-90rpm), since lower cadences have been shown to improve cycling economy and lower energy demands. However, such low cadences are known to increase the pedal forces necessary to maintain a given power output. Future research is needed to examine the multitude of factors known to influence optimal cycling cadence (i.e. economy, power output and fatigue development) in order to confirm the range of cadences that are optimal during specific cycling tasks.
Author Erik W. FariaSource: International SportMed Journal 10, pp 16 –32 (2009)More Less
Objective: Scientific studies of specific training interventions to evoke adaptive biomechanical, aerobic and oxygen-independent cellular responses for improving cycling performance in already well-trained cyclists are limited. Consequently, related research of metabolic markers and underlying mechanisms found to be potential determinants of best competitive cycling performance are reviewed. Applicable specific training strategies which may have an impact on performance are discussed.
Data sources: For this review, scientific texts, peer-reviewed journals, electronic (Web) publications and published abstracts of papers presented at conferences were identified through Highwire Press and PubMed.
Study section and data extraction: The selected papers examined were from peer review established sports science and physiology journals specifically related to exercise physiology.
Conclusions: Achieving the best competitive cycling performance requires the understanding and implementation of sound research in support of successful training paradigms. Knowledge of the physiological mechanisms following a training regime will allow valid training practices to be implemented. The inclusion of a combination of strategies focusing on pedalling dynamics, post-exercise recovery, hypoxia training, and sprint interval training may prove responsible for observed increases in exercise performance at sea level and at altitude.
Measurement error associated with performance testing in well-trained cyclists : application to the precision of monitoring changes in training status : original research articleSource: International SportMed Journal 10, pp 33 –44 (2009)More Less
Small changes in performance, as low as 1%, are regarded as meaningful in well-trained cyclists. Being able to detect these changes is necessary to fine tune training and optimise performance. The typical error of measurement (TEM) in common performance cycle tests is about 2-3%. It is not known whether this TEM is lower in well-trained cyclists and therefore whether small changes in performance parameters are detectable. In this research, after familiarisation, 17 well-trained cyclists each completed three Peak Power Output (PPO) tests (including VO2max) and three 40km time trials (40km TT). All tests were performed after a standardised warm-up at the same relative intensity and under a strict testing-protocol. TEM within the PPO-test was 2.2% for VO2max and 0.9% for PPO, while TEM for the 40km TT was 0.9%. In conclusion, measurement of PPO and 40km TT time, after a standardised warm-up, has sufficient precision in well-trained cyclists to detect small meaningful changes.
Source: International SportMed Journal 10, pp 45 –52 (2009)More Less
In many sport disciplines the delivery of oxygen to muscles plays a critical role. Indeed, muscle performance declines during prolonged and intense activity as a consequence of the shift from the aerobic to the anaerobic metabolism with an increase of lactate. To enhance the aerobic capacity two alternatives may be used: increasing either the transport or the delivery of oxygen. In this setting, erythropoietin use is the practice of illicitly using a drug to improve athletic performances. In the present overview, old and newer erythropoietic stimulating molecules are described with a special emphasis on their potential side effects. Direct and indirect detection methods are briefly described with the aim of mentioning their roles and limits with regard to anti-doping strategies.
Source: International SportMed Journal 10, pp 53 –60 (2009)More Less
A balanced intake of macro- and micro nutrients is crucially important for conditioning, recovery from fatigue after exercise, as well as for injury prevention. An increasing number of athletes have adopted vegetarian diets for one or more reasons and actually there is no available evidence to support either a beneficial or a detrimental effect of a vegetarian diet on sport performance. Therefore, it is widely accepted that appropriately planned vegetarian diets can provide sufficient nutrient energy with an appropriate range of carbohydrate, fat, and protein intake to support performance and health. On the other hand, questions have been raised by some investigators regarding unique risks of the vegetarian diet, including oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea, iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, and impaired mineral status. In the present overview those items are described with the aim of identifying intervention warnings for vegetarian athletes.