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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 June;41(2):147-53


language: English

Duration and seriousness of running mechanics alterations after maximal cycling in triathletes. Influence of the performance level

Millet G. P., Millet G. Y., Candau R. B.

From the UPRES-EA 2991 “Sport, Performance, Santé”, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Montpellier, France *Groupe Analyse du Mouvement, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Dijon, France


Background. Non-experienced triathletes use to complain about the difficulty to run after cycling. We tested the hypothesis that elite triathletes have lower and/or shorter alterations in running mechanics following a maximal cycling exercise than their less efficient counterparts.
Methods. The mechanical alterations in running after exhaustive cycling exercise were studied in eight elite (E) and 18 middle-level (M) triathletes. Before and after maximal cycling exercise, the subjects completed two 7-min runs on a treadmill at a velocity corresponding to that sustained during a triathlon. External mechanical cost was quantified during the first and last minute of each run from displacements of the centre of mass using a kinematic arm.
Results. The effect of cycling on the potential, kinetic and mechanical costs (respectively, 7.1±6.0% and 0.4±6.9% increase for M and E) during the first minute of running appeared to be more adverse (p<0.05) for M than E. The mechanical changes between pre- and postcycling exercise were similar among the two groups at the 6th minute, suggesting that the mechanical alterations due to a cycling fatigue in M are brief.
Conclusions. Since the needs to run efficiently immediately after cycling are associated with performance in triathlon, the results of the present study have practical implications for training.

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