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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 March;43(1):44-50

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Pulmonary function during cycling and running in triathletes

Hue O. 1, Boussana A. 2, Le Gallais D. 2, Prefaut C. 3

1 Laboratoire ACTE, UFR-STAPS Antilles-Guyane, Pointe à Pitre Cedex, France 2 Laboratoire Sport, Performance, Santé UPRES-EA, UFR- STAPS, Montpellier, France 3 Laboratoire de Physiologie des Interactions Service d’Exploration de la Fonction Respiratoire Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Montpellier, France


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Aim. Run­ning per­for­mance has ­become key to the ­triathlete’s ­overall per­for­mance. We ­still ­know rel­a­tively ­little ­about the fac­tors ­that ­define the ­ability to per­form a ­good run ­after ­cycling, how­ever, and the per­cep­tion of dis­com­fort ­during the ­first min­utes of ­this ­post-­cycling run­ning has yet to be sat­is­fac­torily ­explained. Pul­mo­nary vol­umes (i.e., ­residual ­volume, RV, and func­tional ­residual ­capacity, FRC) ­have ­been dem­on­strated to be ­impaired ­after a ­cycle-run suc­ces­sion in tri­ath­letes but not ­after a run-run suc­ces­sion ­that is ­matched in ­terms of inten­sity and dura­tion. ­Cycling in ­itself and/or the suc­ces­sion of two dif­ferent exer­cises (i.e., ­cycling and run­ning) may ­explain ­this phe­nom­enon, but the ­exact mech­a­nism has not yet ­been deter­mined.
­Methods. Thir­teen ­young ­male tri­ath­letes par­tic­i­pated in ­three dif­ferent exer­cise ­trials: 30 min of ­cycling fol­lowed by 20 min of run­ning (C-R), 30 min of con­trol ­cycling (C) and 20 min of con­trol run­ning (R). Pul­mo­nary vol­umes and ­flows ­were meas­ured 10 min ­before and 10 min ­after ­each ­trial. ­During all ­trials, ven­til­a­tory ­data ­were col­lected ­every ­minute ­using an auto­mated ­breath-by-­breath ­system.
­Results. The ­results ­showed ­that 1) C ­induced sig­nif­i­cant ­increases in RV, FRC and RV/TLC (2.31±0.18 vs 2.01±0.17 L, 4.35±0.24 vs 4.01±0.25 L, and 27.21±1.62 vs 23.98±1.55, respec­tively, ­after ­versus ­before C) and 2) ­there ­were no sig­nif­i­cant pul­mo­nary ­volume or ­flow ­changes ­after C-R or R.
Con­clu­sion. We con­cluded ­that 1) ­cycling exer­cise in ­itself ­seems to ­increase the ­post-exer­cise pul­mo­nary ­volume ­changes ­which ­could ­lead to res­pir­a­tory ­muscle alter­a­tions and 2) one ­likely expla­na­tion for ­this ­finding ­appears to be the ­crouched posi­tion of ­cycling.

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