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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2007 December;47(4):413-7

language: English

Salivary cortisol, heart rate and blood laccate during a qualifying trial and an official race in motorcycling competition

Filaire E. 1, Filaire M. 2, Le Scanff C. 3

1 Laboratory of Physical Activity Health and Performance UFRSTAPS-2 Orléans Cedex, France
2 Laboratory of Anatomy, UFR Medicine Clermont-Ferrand Cedex, France
3 Research Center on Sport Sciences UFRSTAPS Bât 335, Orsay cedex, France


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Aim. The study aims to examine the physiological load on motorcycling competitors during a qualifying trial and an official race.
Methods. Twelve male riders participated in this study, in which their anthropometric data, heart rate, blood lactate (La) and salivary cortisol (C) concentrations were measured. Two saliva samples were taken on a resting day at 8 a.m. (30 min after awakening: [T0] and at 8 p.m. [T1] and 6 saliva samples were collected on the day of the qualifying trial and on the day of the official race [T2 through T7]).
Results. During the race, as well as during the qualifying trial, heart rate was found to be >80-90% of the maximum heart rate. Blood La increased more than two-fold (peak 5.6±2.1 mM) as compared to resting values (2±0.1 mM). However, La were not statistically different between qualifying trial and race. C concentrations on the motorcycling day were found to be up to 3 times higher than those measured on the resting day. In fact, there was a progressive increase in the C concentrations on the motorcycling day, the values noted 10 min after the race being the highest. There was a significant decrease in C values 60 min after the race, but the concentration was maintained at a higher level for a longer period; the values reported at T7 (8 p.m.; 4.3 h after the end of the race) were significantly higher than those reported at the same time on a resting day (T1).
Conclusion. The examination of heart rate, blood La and salivary C concentrations in motorcycling on a circuit shows that this sport is highly stressful, and also that a metabolic involvement is required to control the motorcycle at a high speed. Thus, riders may benefit from a specific training program aimed at improving their cardiovascular fitness and strength.

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