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Drafting improves 3000m running performance in elite athletes: Is it a placebo effect?


Zouhal, Hassane; Ben Abderrahman, Abderraouf; Prioux, Jacques; Knechtle, Beat; Bouguerra, Lotfi; Kebsi, Wiem; Noakes, Timothy D (2015). Drafting improves 3000m running performance in elite athletes: Is it a placebo effect? International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 10(2):147-152.

Abstract

PURPOSE: The study was designed to determine the effect of drafting on running time, physiological response and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during 3000m-track running.
METHODS: Ten elite middle and long distance runners performed three track-running sessions. The first session determined maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal aerobic speed (MAS) using a lightweight ambulatory respiratory gas exchange system (K4B2). The second and the third tests consisted of non-drafting 3000m running (3000mND) and 3000m running with drafting for the first 2000m (3000mD) performed on the track in a randomized counter-balanced order.
RESULTS: Performance during the 3000m (553.59±22.15 s) was significantly slower (p<0.05) than during the 3000mD (544.74±18.72 s). Cardiorespiratory responses were not significantly different between the trials. However, blood lactate concentration was significantly higher (p<0.05) after the 3000mND (16.4±2.3mmol.L-1) than after the 3000mD (13.2±5.6mmol.L-1). Athletes perceived the 3000mND as more strenuous than the 3000mD (p<0.05) (RPE = 16.1±0.8 vs. 13.1±1.3). Results demonstrate that drafting has a significant effect on performance in highly trained runners.
CONCLUSION: This effect could not be explained by a reduced energy expenditure or cardio-respiratory effort as a result of drafting. This raises the possibility that drafting may aid running performance by both physiological and non-physiological (i.e. psychological) effects.

Abstract

PURPOSE: The study was designed to determine the effect of drafting on running time, physiological response and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during 3000m-track running.
METHODS: Ten elite middle and long distance runners performed three track-running sessions. The first session determined maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal aerobic speed (MAS) using a lightweight ambulatory respiratory gas exchange system (K4B2). The second and the third tests consisted of non-drafting 3000m running (3000mND) and 3000m running with drafting for the first 2000m (3000mD) performed on the track in a randomized counter-balanced order.
RESULTS: Performance during the 3000m (553.59±22.15 s) was significantly slower (p<0.05) than during the 3000mD (544.74±18.72 s). Cardiorespiratory responses were not significantly different between the trials. However, blood lactate concentration was significantly higher (p<0.05) after the 3000mND (16.4±2.3mmol.L-1) than after the 3000mD (13.2±5.6mmol.L-1). Athletes perceived the 3000mND as more strenuous than the 3000mD (p<0.05) (RPE = 16.1±0.8 vs. 13.1±1.3). Results demonstrate that drafting has a significant effect on performance in highly trained runners.
CONCLUSION: This effect could not be explained by a reduced energy expenditure or cardio-respiratory effort as a result of drafting. This raises the possibility that drafting may aid running performance by both physiological and non-physiological (i.e. psychological) effects.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 14:54
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:55
Publisher:Human Kinetics
ISSN:1555-0265
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2013-0498
PubMed ID:24912074

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