Durability of the Moderate-to-Heavy-Intensity Transition Is Related to the Effects of Prolonged Exercise on Severe-Intensity Performance

Hamilton, Kate
Kilding, Andrew E
Plews, Daniel J
Mildenhall, Mathew J
Waldron, Mark
Charoensap, Thanchanok
Cox, Tobias H
Brick, Matthew J
Leigh, Warren B
Maunder, Ed
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Journal Article
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Purpose Power output at the moderate-to-heavy-intensity transition decreases during prolonged exercise, and resilience to this has been termed ‘durability’. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between durability and the effect of prolonged exercise on severe-intensity performance, and explore intramuscular correlates of durability.

Methods On separate days, 13 well-trained cyclists and triathletes (V̇O2peak, 57.3 ± 4.8 mL kg−1 min−1; training volume, 12 ± 2.1 h week−1) undertook an incremental test and 5-min time trial (TT) to determine power output at the first ventilatory threshold (VT1) and severe-intensity performance, with and without 150-min of prior moderate-intensity cycling. A single resting vastus lateralis microbiopsy was obtained.

Results Prolonged exercise reduced power output at VT1 (211 ± 40 vs. 198 ± 39 W, ∆ -13 ± 16 W, ∆ -6 ± 7%, P = 0.013) and 5-min TT performance (333 ± 75 vs. 302 ± 63 W, ∆ -31 ± 41 W, ∆ -9 ± 10%, P = 0.017). The reduction in 5-min TT performance was significantly associated with durability of VT1 (rs = 0.719, P = 0.007). Durability of VT1 was not related to vastus lateralis carnosine content, citrate synthase activity, or complex I activity (P > 0.05).

Conclusion These data provide the first direct support that durability of the moderate-to-heavy-intensity transition is an important performance parameter, as more durable athletes exhibited smaller reductions in 5-min TT performance following prolonged exercise. We did not find relationships between durability and vastus lateralis carnosine content, citrate synthase activity, or complex I activity.

1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences , Sport Sciences , 3202 Clinical sciences , 3208 Medical physiology , 4207 Sports science and exercise
European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN: 1439-6319 (Print); 1439-6327 (Online), Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi: 10.1007/s00421-024-05459-6
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