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Pacing Strategies of Ultra-Cyclists at the 'Race Across AMerica'


Heidenfelder, Angela; Rosemann, Thomas; Rüst, Christoph A; Knechtle, Beat (2016). Pacing Strategies of Ultra-Cyclists at the 'Race Across AMerica'. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 11(3):319-327.

Abstract

PURPOSE To examine pacing strategies of ultra-cyclists competing in the 'Race Across AMerica' (RAAM), the world's longest ultra-cycling race covering ~4,860 km from the west to the east coast of America. METHODS Age, cycling speed at and across time stations, race distance, relative difference in altitude between time stations, wind velocity, wind gradient and temperature at each time station were recorded for women and men competing from 2010 to 2014. Changes in cycling speed and power output of elite and age group finishers were analysed using mixed-effects regression analyses. RESULTS Cycling speed decreased across time stations for women and men where men were faster than women. Power output decreased across time stations in women and men and was lower for women for all finishers, the annual three fastest and age group 60-69 years, but not for age groups 18-49 and 50-59 years. The change in temperature and altitude had an influence on cycling speed and power output in all finishers, the annual top three, non-finishers, in all different age groups for both women and men, only in the age group 50-59 years altitude had no influence on cycling speed. CONCLUSIONS Positive pacing (i.e. decrease in speed throughout the race) seemed to be the adequate strategy in the RAAM. The top three finishers started faster and had a higher power output at the start compared to less successful competitors, achieved the highest peak cycling speeds and power output and maintained peak cycling speed and power output longer before slowing down.

Abstract

PURPOSE To examine pacing strategies of ultra-cyclists competing in the 'Race Across AMerica' (RAAM), the world's longest ultra-cycling race covering ~4,860 km from the west to the east coast of America. METHODS Age, cycling speed at and across time stations, race distance, relative difference in altitude between time stations, wind velocity, wind gradient and temperature at each time station were recorded for women and men competing from 2010 to 2014. Changes in cycling speed and power output of elite and age group finishers were analysed using mixed-effects regression analyses. RESULTS Cycling speed decreased across time stations for women and men where men were faster than women. Power output decreased across time stations in women and men and was lower for women for all finishers, the annual three fastest and age group 60-69 years, but not for age groups 18-49 and 50-59 years. The change in temperature and altitude had an influence on cycling speed and power output in all finishers, the annual top three, non-finishers, in all different age groups for both women and men, only in the age group 50-59 years altitude had no influence on cycling speed. CONCLUSIONS Positive pacing (i.e. decrease in speed throughout the race) seemed to be the adequate strategy in the RAAM. The top three finishers started faster and had a higher power output at the start compared to less successful competitors, achieved the highest peak cycling speeds and power output and maintained peak cycling speed and power output longer before slowing down.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:19 Aug 2015 15:10
Last Modified:12 Apr 2016 01:00
Publisher:Human Kinetics
ISSN:1555-0265
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2015-0051
PubMed ID:26215121

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