PURPOSE: Given the paucity of research on pacing strategies during competitive events, this study examined changes in dynamic high resolution performance parameters to analyse pacing profiles during a multiple-lap mountain bike race over variable terrain. METHODS: A Global Positioning System (GPS) unit (Garmin, Edge 305, USA) recorded velocity (m.s-1), distance (m), elevation (m) and heart rate at 1 Hz from six mountain bike riders (mean ± SD: age = 27.2 ± 5.0 yrs; stature = 176.8 ± 8.1 cm; mass = 76.3 ± 11.7 kg, VO2 max = 55.1 ± 6.0 mL.kg-1.min-1) competing in a multi-lap race. Lap-by-lap (inter-lap) pacing was analysed using a one-way ANOVA for mean time and mean velocity. Velocity data were averaged every 100 m and plotted against race distance and elevation to observe the presence of intra-lap variation. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in lap times (P = 0.99) or lap velocity (P = 0.65) across the 5 laps. Within each lap a high degree of oscillation in velocity was observed which broadly reflected changes in terrain, however high resolution data demonstrated additional non-monotonic variation not related to terrain. CONCLUSION: Participants adopted an even pace strategy across the 5 laps despite rapid adjustments in velocity during each lap. Whilst topographical and technical variations of the course accounted for some of the variability in velocity, the additional rapid adjustments in velocity may be associated with dynamic regulation of self-paced exercise.
|Journal||International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Feb 2012|