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Medicina dello Sport 2003 March;56(1):25-32


language: Italian

Evaluation of a group of triathalon athletes during the performance of the treadmill “conconi test” using an ergospirometer

Piolanti S. 1, Sgarzi S. 2, Soldati A. 1, Cellini M. 1, Brunelli D. 1, Speziale F. 1, Garulli A. 1, Poletti G. 1

1 Centro Medicina dello Sport, Azienda USL Bologna Sud, Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna); 2 Servizio di Medicina dello Sport, Azienda USL Bologna Nord, Bologna


Objective. The determination of the anaerobic threshold (AT) during incremental, repeatable and standardized physical exertion is the principal aim of all evaluation tests of endurance athletes in order to verify the state of training since this is considered to be the most significant index of capacity of prolonged physical exertion. Heart rate and workload, where a lacticemia of about 4 mmol/l is reached (this being considered the limit beyond which energy is produced, for the most part, in anaerobiosis) constitute the reference for the improvement of the athletic condidion. The test for the determination of the AT are constituted by the so-called Conconi test and by the ergospirometric method which allows the gas analysis, breath by breath. The aim of the present work is the comparison, analysis and discussion of these 2 tests applied simultaneously during a treadmill running with loads incremented in a specific way.
Methods. Nine high level triathlon athletes were evaluated and, for each one, oxygen consumption, production of carbon dioxide, and the principal ventilation and heart rate parameters were constantly monitored up to maximum level of physical exertion tolerated, expressed as duration and velocity of the run. The AT was calculated using the graphic ergospirometric method (V-slope of CO2 and equivalent respirators) and with the Conconi test (deflection of heart rate) utilizing a specific computer program.
Results and conclusions. From the comparison of the 2 test, it emerged that both can be used for the determination of the AT point (heart rate and velocity) since there is a minimum not significant difference. The ergospirometric method offers, in addition, a picture of the aerobic potentiality of the athlete (V.O2 max) and some margins o improvement (% of the V.O2 max AT) with a suitable training. A protocol of the 2 methods is proposed.

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