Objective: To investigate the effect of all-out cycling test duration on indices of power, anaerobic lactic energy metabolism, perceived exertion and mood.
Methods: Nine physically active males undertook 4 all-out cycling tests of 5, 15, 30 or 45 s from seated stationary start on an ergometer fit with power cranks. Subjects completed a Profile of Mood States (POMs) questionnaire prior to each test and indicated perceived exertion immediately post-test (Borg 6-20 scale). Indices of anaerobic lactic metabolism were determined from blood lactate concentrations.
Results: Pacing strategy was apparent in the 45 s tests with lower peak (p<0.01) and mean power in the initial 10 s compared to the 5 and 15 s tests (p<0.05). The first 15 s of the 30 and 45 s tests revealed lower fatigue indexes compared to the 15 s tests (p<0.05) indicating some pacing in the 30 s tests. Perceived exertion increased with duration, with no difference between the 15 and 30 s tests (p>0.05). Extravascal lactate generation (reflecting exercising muscle lactate production) explained 59% of the variance in perceived exertion. There was no effect of knowledge of test duration on mood states or total mood disturbance (p>0.05).
Conclusions: An all-out pacing strategy was apparent for at least up to 15 s, with indicators of dampened power in both 30 and 45 s sprints. Reduced power at the start of all-out long duration sprints support a central control of at least initial pacing strategy.
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