The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML)

Effects of cycling alone or in a sheltered position on subsequent running performance during a triathlon. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 599-604, 1999.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the responses during a triathlon in which cycling was performed alone, as well as in a drafting position.

Methods: Eight male triathletes of international level performed a sprint-distance triathlon (0.75-km swim, 20-km bike, 5-km run) on two different occasions, one completely alone (TA), the other as a drafter during the bike leg of the event (TD). The speed during drafted cycling remained at all times identical to the no-draft situation.

Results: The results revealed that expiratory flow ( E), oxygen uptake ( O2), heart rate (HR), and blood lactate concentrations ([La-]) were significantly lower when drafting on the bike as opposed to biking alone (112.1 vs 162.2 L[middle dot]min-1, 55.2 vs 64.2 mL[middle dot]min-1[middle dot]kg-1, 155 vs 166.8 beats[middle dot]min-1, and 4.0 vs 8.4 mmol[middle dot]L-1, respectively). The results also showed that running after biking in a drafting situation (for similar bike speeds) significantly improved the running speed compared with that of the no-draft modality (17.8 vs 17.1 km[middle dot]h-1). Furthermore, E, O2, HR, and [La-] were significantly higher during TD run compared with TA run (161.6 vs 141.4 L[middle dot]min-1, 70.9 vs 67.1 mL[middle dot]min-1[middle dot]kg-1, 175.3 vs 167.9 8 beats[middle dot]min-1, and 8.1 vs 7.6 mmol[middle dot]L-1, respectively).

Conclusions: These results showed that drafting allows triathletes to save significantly on energy during the bike leg of a triathlon and creates the conditions for an improved running performance, with higher benefits for the strong runners.

(C) 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.