Publications by authors named "Jos de Koning"

94 Publications

Differences in execution and perception of training sessions as experienced by (semi-) professional cyclists and their coach.

Eur J Sport Sci 2021 Sep 10:1-16. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa Twitter: @RobLamberts, Twitter:

This study aimed to investigate whether (semi-)professional cyclists' execution of a training program differs from the coach's designed training program. Also, the study sought to ascertain, in instances where the training sessions were indeed executed as designed by the coach, whether the perception of the cyclists differed from the intention of the coach. This study highlights the differences between the coach and the individual cyclist. In total 747 training sessions were collected from 11 (semi-)professional cyclists. Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and session Rating of Perceived Exertion (sRPE) were compared with intended RPE (iRPE) and intended sRPE (isRPE), planned by the coach. Pearson's correlation, regression coefficients and Typical Error of Estimate (TEE) were used to identify differences between the executed and planned training sessions. to TEEs were noted between executed and intended sRPE, which indicates that cyclists do not always execute the training program planned by the coach. Furthermore, when the training was executed as planned by the coach, v correlations but TEEs were noted between cyclists' (s)RPE and the coach's i(s)RPE, with unique individual regression coefficients. This indicates that the relationship between RPE and iRPE is unique to each cyclist. Both the different execution and perception of the training program by the individual cyclists could cause an impaired training adaptation. Therefore, the coach must pay attention to the perception of training sessions by the individual cyclist. Improved individual management of training load could result in the optimization of the proposed training program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1979102DOI Listing
September 2021

The relationship between relative aerobic load, energy cost, and speed of walking in individuals post-stroke.

Gait Posture 2021 Jul 21;89:193-199. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, the Netherlands; Heliomare Research and Development, Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands; University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Human Movement Sciences, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Background: Individuals post-stroke walk slower than their able-bodied peers, which limits participation. This might be attributed to neurological impairments, but could also be caused by a mismatch between aerobic capacity and aerobic load of walking leading to an unsustainable relative aerobic load at most economic speed and preference for a lower walking speed.

Research Question: What is the impact of aerobic capacity and aerobic load of walking on walking ability post-stroke?

Methods: Forty individuals post-stroke (more impaired N = 21; preferred walking speed (PWS)<0.8 m/s, less impaired N = 19), and 15 able-bodied individuals performed five, 5-minute treadmill walking trials at 70 %, 85 %, 100 %, 115 % and 130 % PWS. Energy expenditure (mlO/kg/min) and energy cost (mlO/kg/m) were derived from oxygen uptake (V˙O). Relative load was defined as energy expenditure divided by peak aerobic capacity (%V˙Opeak) and by V˙O at ventilatory threshold (%V˙O-VT). Relative load and energy cost at PWS were compared with one-way ANOVA's. The effect of speed on these parameters was modeled with Generalized Estimating Equations.

Results: Both more and less impaired individuals post-stroke showed lower PWS than able-bodied controls (0.44 [0.19-0.76] and 1.04 [0.81-1.43] vs 1.36 [0.89-1.53] m/s) and higher relative load at PWS (50.2 ± 14.4 and 51.7 ± 16.8 vs 36.2 ± 7.6 %V˙Opeak and 101.9 ± 20.5 and 97.0 ± 27.3 vs 64.9 ± 13.8 %V˙O-VT). Energy cost at PWS of more impaired (0.30 [.19-1.03] mlO/kg/m) was higher than less-impaired (0.19[0.10-0.24] mlO/kg/m) and able-bodied (0.15 [0.13-0.18] mlO/kg/m). For post-stroke individuals, increasing walking speed above PWS decreased energy cost, but resulted in a relative load above endurance threshold.

Significance: Individuals post-stroke seem to reduce walking speed to prevent unsustainably high relative aerobic loads at the expense of reduced economy. When aiming to improve walking ability post-stroke, it is important to consider training aerobic capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2021.07.012DOI Listing
July 2021

Estimation of Metabolic Energy Expenditure during Short Walking Bouts.

Int J Sports Med 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Assessment of metabolic energy expenditure from indirect calorimetry is currently limited to sustained (>4 min) cyclic activities, because of steady-state requirements. This is problematic for patient populations who are unable to perform such sustained activities. Therefore, this study explores validity and reliability of a method estimating metabolic energy expenditure based on oxygen consumption (V̇O) during short walking bouts. Twelve able-bodied adults twice performed six treadmill walking trials (1, 2 and 6 min at 4 and 5 km/h), while V̇O was measured. Total V̇O was calculated by integrating net V̇O over walking and recovery. Concurrent validity with steady-state V̇O was assessed with Pearson's correlations. Test-retest reliability was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman analyses. Total V̇O was strongly correlated with steady-state V̇O (r=0.91-0.99), but consistently higher. Test-retest reliability of total V̇O (ICC=0.65-0.92) was lower than or comparable to steady-state V̇O (ICC=0.83-0.92), with lower reliability for shorter trials. Total V̇O discriminated between gait speeds. Total oxygen uptake provides a useful measure to estimate metabolic load of short activities from oxygen consumption. Although estimates are less reliable than steady-state measurements, they can provide insight in the yet unknown metabolic demands of daily activities for patient populations unable to perform sustained activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1373-5770DOI Listing
April 2021

The Physiological, Neuromuscular, and Perceptual Response to Even- and Variable-Paced 10-km Cycling Time Trials.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2021 Mar 10:1-8. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Background: During self-paced (SP) time trials (TTs), cyclists show unconscious nonrandom variations in power output of up to 10% above and below average. It is unknown what the effects of variations in power output of this magnitude are on physiological, neuromuscular, and perceptual variables.

Purpose: To describe physiological, neuromuscular, and perceptual responses of 10-km TTs with an imposed even-paced (EP) and variable-paced (VP) workload.

Methods: Healthy male, trained, task-habituated cyclists (N = 9) completed three 10-km TTs. First, an SP TT was completed, the mean workload from which was used as the mean workload of the EP and VP TTs. The EP was performed with an imposed even workload, while VP was performed with imposed variations in workload of ±10% of the mean. In EP and VP, cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular, and perceptual variables were measured.

Results: Mean rating of perceived exertion was significantly lower in VP (6.13 [1.16]) compared with EP (6.75 [1.24]), P = .014. No mean differences were found for cardiorespiratory and almost all neuromuscular variables. However, differences were found at individual kilometers corresponding to power-output differences between pacing strategies.

Conclusion: Variations in power output during TTs of ±10%, simulating natural variations in power output that are present during SP TTs, evoke minor changes in cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular responses and mostly affect the perceptual response. Rating of perceived exertion is lower when simulating natural variations in power output, compared with EP cycling. The imposed variations in workload seem to provide a psychological rather than a physiological or neuromuscular advantage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0310DOI Listing
March 2021

Summated Hazard Score as a Powerful Predictor of Fatigue in Relation to Pacing Strategy.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 18;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA.

During competitive events, the pacing strategy depends upon how an athlete feels at a specific moment and the distance remaining. It may be expressed as the Hazard Score (HS) with momentary HS being shown to provide a measure of the likelihood of changing power output (PO) within an event and summated HS as a marker of how difficult an event is likely to be perceived to be. This study aimed to manipulate time trial (TT) starting strategies to establish whether the summated HS, as opposed to momentary HS, will improve understanding of performance during a simulated cycling competition. Seven subjects (peak PO: 286 ± 49.7 W) performed two practice 10-km cycling TTs followed by three 10-km TTs with imposed PO (±5% of mean PO achieved during second practice TT and a self-paced TT). PO, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), lactate, heart rate (HR), HS, summated HS, session RPE (sRPE) were collected. Finishing time and mean PO for self-paced (time: 17.51 ± 1.41 min; PO: 234 ± 62.6 W), fast-start (time: 17.72 ± 1.87 min; PO: 230 ± 62.0 W), and slow-start (time: 17.77 ± 1.74 min; PO: 230 ± 62.7) TT were not different. There was a significant interaction between each secondary outcome variable (PO, RPE, lactate, HR, HS, and summated HS) for starting strategy and distance. The evolution of HS reflected the imposed starting strategy, with a reduction in PO following a fast-start, an increased PO following a slow-start with similar HS during the last part of all TTs. The summated HS was strongly correlated with the sRPE of the TTs (r = 0.88). The summated HS was higher with a fast start, indicating greater effort, with limited time advantage. Thus, the HS appears to regulate both PO within a TT, but also the overall impression of the difficulty of a TT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922978PMC
February 2021

Effect of Running Velocity Variation on the Aerobic Cost of Running.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 19;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA.

The aerobic cost of running (CR), an important determinant of running performance, is usually measured during constant speed running. However, constant speed does not adequately reflect the nature of human locomotion, particularly competitive races, which include stochastic variations in pace. Studies in non-athletic individuals suggest that stochastic variations in running velocity produce little change in CR. This study was designed to evaluate whether variations in running speed influence CR in trained runners. Twenty competitive runners (12 m, VO = 73 ± 7 mL/kg; 8f, VO = 57 ± 6 mL/kg) ran four 6-minute bouts at an average speed calculated to require ~90% ventilatory threshold (VT) (measured using both v-slope and ventilatory equivalent). Each interval was run with minute-to-minute pace variation around average speed. CR was measured over the last 2 min. The coefficient of variation (CV) of running speed was calculated to quantify pace variations: ±0.0 m∙s (CV = 0%), ±0.04 m∙s (CV = 1.4%), ±0.13 m∙s(CV = 4.2%), and ±0.22 m∙s(CV = 7%). No differences in CR, HR, or blood lactate (BLa) were found amongst the variations in running pace. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was significantly higher only in the 7% CV condition. The results support earlier studies with short term (3s) pace variations, that pace variation within the limits often seen in competitive races did not affect CR when measured at running speeds below VT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922385PMC
February 2021

25 Years of Session Rating of Perceived Exertion: Historical Perspective and Development.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2021 Jan 28;16(5):612-621. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

The session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) method was developed 25 years ago as a modification of the Borg concept of rating of perceived exertion (RPE), designed to estimate the intensity of an entire training session. It appears to be well accepted as a marker of the internal training load. Early studies demonstrated that sRPE correlated well with objective measures of internal training load, such as the percentage of heart rate reserve and blood lactate concentration. It has been shown to be useful in a wide variety of exercise activities ranging from aerobic to resistance to games. It has also been shown to be useful in populations ranging from patients to elite athletes. The sRPE is a reasonable measure of the average RPE acquired across an exercise session. Originally designed to be acquired ∼30 minutes after a training bout to prevent the terminal elements of an exercise session from unduly influencing the rating, sRPE has been shown to be temporally robust across periods ranging from 1 minute to 14 days following an exercise session. Within the training impulse concept, sRPE, or other indices derived from sRPE, has been shown to be able to account for both positive and negative training outcomes and has contributed to our understanding of how training is periodized to optimize training outcomes and to understand maladaptations such as overtraining syndrome. The sRPE as a method of monitoring training has the advantage of extreme simplicity. While it is not ideal for the precise recording of the details of the external training load, it has large advantages relative to evaluating the internal training load.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0599DOI Listing
January 2021

Generalized Approach to Translating Exercise Tests and Prescribing Exercise.

J Funct Morphol Kinesiol 2020 Aug 12;5(3). Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.

Although there is evidence supporting the benefit of regular exercise, and recommendations about exercise and physical activity, the process of individually prescribing exercise following exercise testing is more difficult. Guidelines like % heart rate (HR) reserve (HRR) require an anchoring maximal test and do not always provide a homogenous training experience. When prescribing HR on the basis of % HRR, rating of perceived exertion or Talk Test, cardiovascular/perceptual drift during sustained exercise makes prescription of the actual workload difficult. To overcome this issue, we have demonstrated a strategy for "translating" exercise test responses to steady state exercise training on the basis of % HRR or the Talk Test that appeared adequate for individuals ranging from cardiac patients to athletes. However, these methods depended on the nature of the exercise test details. In this viewpoint, we combine these data with workload expressed as Metabolic Equivalent Task (METs). We demonstrate that there is a regular stepdown between the METs during training to achieve the same degree of homeostatic disturbance during testing. The relationship was linear, was highly-correlated (r = 0.89), and averaged 71.8% (Training METs/Test METs). We conclude that it appears possible to generate a generalized approach to correctly translate exercise test responses to exercise training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jfmk5030063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739260PMC
August 2020

The IJSPP Twitter Account: Our Secondary Step to Narrow the Gap Between Sport Science and Sport Practice.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2021 Jan 9;16(2):161-162. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0956DOI Listing
January 2021

You'll Never Walk Alone

Authors:
Jos J de Koning

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2020 May 2;15(5):597. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0217DOI Listing
May 2020

The Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation on the Decline in Gross Efficiency During a 2000-m Cycling Time Trial

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2020 05 1;15(5):741-747. Epub 2020 May 1.

Background: Gross efficiency (GE) declines during high-intensity exercise. Increasing extracellular buffer capacity might diminish the decline in GE and thereby improve performance.

Purpose: To examine if sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) supplementation diminishes the decline in GE during a 2000-m cycling time trial.

Methods: Sixteen male cyclists and 16 female cyclists completed 4 testing sessions including a maximal incremental test, a familiarization trial, and two 2000-m GE tests. The 2000-m GE tests were performed after ingestion of either NaHCO3 supplements (0.3 g/kg body mass) or placebo supplements (amylum solani, magnesium stearate, and sunflower oil capsules). The GE tests were conducted using a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Power output, gas exchange, and time to complete the 2000-m time trials were recorded. Capillary blood samples were analyzed for blood bicarbonate, pH, and lactate concentration. Data were analyzed using magnitude-based inference.

Results: The decrement in GE found after the 2000-m time trial was possibly smaller in the male and female groups after NaHCO3 than with placebo ingestion, with the effect in both groups combined being unclear. The effect on performance was likely trivial for males (placebo 164.2 [5.0] s, NaHCO3 164.3 [5.0] s; Δ0.1; ±0.6%), unclear for females (placebo 178.6 [4.8] s, NaHCO3 178.0 [4.3] s; Δ-0.3; ±0.5%), and very likely trivial when effects were combined. Blood bicarbonate, pH, and lactate concentration were substantially elevated from rest to pretest after NaHCO3 ingestion.

Conclusions: NaHCO3 supplementation results in an unclear effect on the decrease in GE during high-intensity exercise and in a very likely trivial effect on performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2019-0177DOI Listing
May 2020

Training Characteristics of Male and Female Professional Road Cyclists: A 4-Year Retrospective Analysis.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Nov 5:1-7. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Purpose: To describe the training intensity and load characteristics of professional cyclists using a 4-year retrospective analysis. Particularly, this study aimed to describe the differences in training characteristics between men and women professional cyclists.

Method: For 4 consecutive years, training data were collected from 20 male and 10 female professional cyclists. From those training sessions, heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, and power output (PO) were analyzed. Training intensity distribution as time spent in different heart rate and PO zones was quantified. Training load was calculated using different metrics such as Training Stress Score, training impulse, and session rating of perceived exertion. Standardized effect size is reported as Cohen's d.

Results: Small to large higher values were observed for distance, duration, kilojoules spent, and (relative) mean PO in men's training (d = 0.44-1.98). Furthermore, men spent more time in low-intensity zones (ie, zones 1 and 2) compared with women. Trivial differences in training load (ie, Training Stress Score and training impulse) were observed between men's and women's training (d = 0.07-0.12). However, load values expressed per kilometer were moderately (d = 0.67-0.76) higher in women compared with men's training.

Conclusions: Substantial differences in training characteristics exist between male and female professional cyclists. Particularly, it seems that female professional cyclists compensate their lower training volume, with a higher training intensity, in comparison with male professional cyclists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2019-0320DOI Listing
November 2019

Case Report: Load, Intensity, and Performance Characteristics in Multiple Grand Tours.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2020 04;52(4):868-875

Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, WI.

Introduction: The aim of this study was to present the load, intensity, and performance characteristics of a general classification (GC) contender during multiple grand tours (GTs). This study also investigated which factors influence climbing performance.

Methods: Power output (PO) data were collected from a GC contender from the Vuelta a España 2015, the Giro d'Italia 2017, the Giro d'Italia 2018, and the Tour de France 2018. Load (e.g., Training Stress Score and kJ spent) and intensity in five PO zones were quantified. One-way ANOVA was used to identify differences between the GTs. Furthermore, performance during the four GTs was quantified based on maximal mean PO (W·kg) over different durations and by the relative PO (W·kg) on the key mountains in the GTs. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to identify which factors influence relative PO on the key mountains.

Results: No significant differences were found between load and intensity characteristics between the four GTs, with the exception that during the Giro d'Italia 2018, a significantly lower absolute time was spent in PO zone 5 (P = 0.005) compared with the other three GTs. The average relative PO on the key mountains (n = 33) was 5.9 ± 0.6 W·kg and was negatively influenced by the duration of the climb and the total elevation gain before the key mountain, whereas the gradient of the mountain had a positive effect on relative PO.

Conclusions: The physiological load imposed on a GC contender did not differ between multiple GTs. Climbing performance was influenced by short-term fatigue induced by previous altitude meters in the stage and the duration and gradient of the mountain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002210DOI Listing
April 2020

Anthropometric Clusters of Competitive Cyclists and Their Sprint and Endurance Performance.

Front Physiol 2019 9;10:1276. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Do athletes specialize toward sports disciplines that are well aligned with their anthropometry? Novel machine-learning algorithms now enable scientists to cluster athletes based on their individual anthropometry while integrating multiple anthropometric dimensions, which may provide new perspectives on anthropometry-dependent sports specialization. We aimed to identify clusters of competitive cyclists based on their individual anthropometry using multiple anthropometric measures, and to evaluate whether athletes with a similar anthropometry also competed in the same cycling discipline. Additionally, we assessed differences in sprint and endurance performance between the anthropometric clusters. Twenty-four nationally and internationally competitive male cyclists were included from sprint, pursuit, and road disciplines. Anthropometry was measured and -means clustering was performed to divide cyclists into three anthropometric subgroups. Sprint performance (Wingate 1-s peak power, squat-jump mean power) and endurance performance (mean power during a 15 km time trial, O ) were obtained. -means clustering assigned sprinters to a mesomorphic cluster (endo-, meso-, and ectomorphy were 2.8, 5.0, and 2.4; = 6). Pursuit and road cyclists were distributed over a short meso-ectomorphic cluster (1.6, 3.8, and 3.9; = 9) and tall meso-ectomorphic cluster (1.5, 3.6, and 4.0; = 9), the former consisting of significantly lighter, shorter, and smaller cyclists ( < 0.05). The mesomorphic cluster demonstrated higher sprint performance ( < 0.05), whereas the meso-ectomorphic clusters established higher endurance performance ( < 0.001). Overall, endurance performance was associated with lean ectomorph cyclists with small girths and small frontal area ( < 0.05), and sprint performance related to cyclists with larger skinfolds, larger girths, and low frontal area per body mass ( < 0.05). Clustering optimization revealed a mesomorphic cluster of sprinters with high sprint performance and short and tall meso-ectomorphic clusters of pursuit and road cyclists with high endurance performance. Anthropometry-dependent specialization was partially confirmed, as the clustering algorithm distinguished short and tall endurance-type cyclists (matching the anthropometry of all-terrain and flat-terrain road cyclists) rather than pursuit and road cyclists. Machine-learning algorithms therefore provide new insights in how athletes match their sports discipline with their individual anthropometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6794383PMC
October 2019

Beating Yourself: How Do Runners Improve Their Own Records?

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Oct 15:1-4. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Background: Pacing studies suggest the distribution of effort for optimizing performance. Cross-sectional studies of 1-mile world records (WRs) suggest that WR progression includes a smaller coefficient of variation of velocity.

Purpose: This study evaluates whether intraindividual pacing used by elite runners to break their own WR (1 mile, 5 km, and 10 km) is related to the evolution of pacing strategy. We provide supportive data from analysis in subelite runners.

Methods: Men's WR performances (with 400-m or 1-km splits) in 1 mile, 5 km, and 10 km were retrieved from the IAAF database (from 1924 to present). Data were analyzed relative to pacing pattern when a runner improved their own WR. Similar analyses are presented for 10-km performance in subelite runners before and after intensified training.

Results: WR performance was improved in 1 mile (mean [SD]: 3:59.4 [11.2] to 3:57.2 [8.6]), 5 km (13:27 [0:33] to 13:21 [0:33]), and 10 km (28:35 [1:27] to 28:21 [1:21]). The average coefficient of variation did not change in the 1 mile (3.4% [1.8%] to 3.6% [1.6%]), 5 km (2.4% [0.9%] to 2.2% [0.8%]), or 10 km (1.4% [0.1%] to 1.5% [0.6%]) with improved WR. When velocity was normalized to the percentage mean velocity for each race, the pacing pattern was almost identical. Very similar patterns were observed in subelite runners in the 10 km. When time improved from 49:20 (5:30) to 45:56 (4:58), normalized velocity was similar, terminal RPE increased (8.4 [1.6] to 9.1 [0.8]), coefficient of variation was unchanged (4.4% [1.1%] to 4.8% [2.1%]), and VO2max increased (49.8 [7.4] to 55.3 [8.8] mL·min-1·kg-1).

Conclusion: The results suggest that when runners break their own best performances, they employ the same pacing pattern, which is different from when WRs are improved in cross-sectional data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2019-0261DOI Listing
October 2019

Embrace Uncertainty.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Jul 1;14(6):697. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2019-0419DOI Listing
July 2019

The Influence of Exercise Intensity on the Association Between Kilojoules Spent and Various Training Loads in Professional Cycling.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Oct 7:1-6. Epub 2019 Oct 7.

Purpose: A valid measure for training load (TL) is an important tool for cyclists, trainers, and sport scientists involved in professional cycling. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of exercise intensity on the association between kilojoules (kJ) spent and different measures of TL to arrive at valid measures of TL.

Methods: Four years of field data were collected from 21 cyclists of a professional cycling team, including 11,716 training and race sessions. kJ spent was obtained from power output measurements, and others TLs were calculated based on the session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE), heart rate (Lucia training impulse [luTRIMP]), and power output (training stress score [TSS]). Exercise intensity was expressed by the intensity factor (IF). To study the effect of exercise intensity on the association between kJ spent and various other TLs (sRPE, luTRIMP, and TSS), data from low- and high-intensity sessions were subjected to regression analyses using generalized estimating equations.

Results: This study shows that the IF is significantly different for training and race sessions (0.59 [0.03] vs 0.73 [0.03]). Significant regression coefficients show that kJ spent is a good predictor of sRPE, and luTRIMP, as well as TSS. However, IF does not influence the associations between kJ spent and sRPE and luTRIMP, while the association with TSS is different when sessions are done with low or high IF.

Conclusion: It seems that the TSS reacts differently to exercise intensity than sRPE and luTRIMP. A possible explanation could be the quadratic relation between IF and TSS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0877DOI Listing
October 2019

Submaximal heart rate seems inadequate to prescribe and monitor intensified training.

Eur J Sport Sci 2019 Sep 14;19(8):1082-1091. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

a Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam , Amsterdam , Netherlands.

The aim of this study is to investigate whether the change in (sub)maximal heart rate after intensified training is associated with the change in performance. Thirty subjects were recruited who performed cardiopulmonary exercise tests to exhaustion 2 weeks before (pre), 1 week after (post) and 5 weeks after (follow-up) an 8-day non-competitive amateur cycling event (TFL). The exercise volume during the TFL was 7.7 fold the volume during the preparation period. Heart rate and cardiopulmonary parameters were obtained at standardised absolute submaximal workloads (low, medium and high intensity) and at peak level each test. Subjects were classified as functionally overreached (FOR) or acute fatigued (AF) based on the change in performance. No differences between FOR and AF were observed for heart rate ( = .51). On total group level (AF + FOR), post-TFL heart rate decreased significantly at low (-4.4 beats·min, 95% CI [-8.7, -0.1]) and medium (-5.5 beats·min [-8.5, -2.4]), but not at high intensity. Peak heart rate decreased -3.4 beats·min [-6.1, -0.7]. Opulse was on average 0.49 ml O·beat [0.09, 0.89] higher at all intensities after intensified training. No changes in ⩒O ( = .44) or the ventilatory threshold ( = .21) were observed. Pearson's correlation coefficients revealed negative associations between heart rate and Opulse at low ( = -.56,  < .01) and medium intensity ( = -.54,  < .01), but not with ⩒O or any other submaximal parameter. (Sub)maximal heart rate decreased after the TFL. However, this decrease is unrelated to the change in performance. Therefore, heart rate seems inadequate to prescribe and monitor intensified training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2019.1571112DOI Listing
September 2019

Cycling at Altitude: Lower Absolute Power Output as the Main Cause of Lower Gross Efficiency.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Sep;14(8):1117-1123

Background: Although cyclists often compete at altitude, the effect of altitude on gross efficiency (GE) remains inconclusive.

Purpose: To investigate the effect of altitude on GE at the same relative exercise intensity and at the same absolute power output (PO) and to determine the effect of altitude on the change in GE during high-intensity exercise.

Methods: Twenty-one trained men performed 3 maximal incremental tests and 5 GE tests at sea level, 1500 m, and 2500 m of acute simulated altitude. The GE tests at altitude were performed once at the same relative exercise intensity and once at the same absolute PO as at sea level.

Results: Altitude resulted in an unclear effect at 1500 m (-3.8%; ±3.3% [90% confidence limit]) and most likely negative effect at 2500 m (-6.3%; ±1.7%) on pre-GE, when determined at the same relative exercise intensity. When pre-GE was determined at the same absolute PO, unclear differences in GE were found (-1.5%; ±2.6% at 1500 m; -1.7%; ±2.4% at 2500 m). The effect of altitude on the decrease in GE during high-intensity exercise was unclear when determined at the same relative exercise intensity (-0.4%; ±2.8% at 1500 m; -0.7%; ±1.9% at 2500 m). When GE was determined at the same absolute PO, altitude resulted in a substantially smaller decrease in GE (2.8%; ±2.4% at 1500 m; 5.5%; ±2.9% at 2500 m).

Conclusion: The lower GE found at altitude when exercise is performed at the same relative exercise intensity is mainly caused by the lower PO at which cyclists exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0221DOI Listing
September 2019

Comparison of RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) Scales for Session RPE.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 07 1;14(7):994-996. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

Purpose: The session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) is a well-accepted method of monitoring training load in athletes in many different sports. It is based on the category-ratio (0-10) RPE scale (BORG-CR10) developed by Borg. There is no evidence how substitution of the Borg 6-20 RPE scale (BORG-RPE) might influence the sRPE in athletes.

Method: Systematically training, recreational-level athletes from a number of sport disciplines performed 6 randomly ordered, 30-min interval-training sessions, at intensities based on peak power output (PPO) and designed to be easy (50% PPO), moderate (75% PPO), or hard (85% PPO). Ratings of sRPE were obtained 30 min postexercise using either the BORG-CR10 or BORG-RPE and compared for matched exercise conditions.

Results: The average percentage of heart-rate reserve was well correlated with sRPE from both BORG-CR10 ( = .76) and BORG-RPE (r  = .69). The sRPE ratings from BORG-CR10 and BORG-RPE were very strongly correlated (r = .90) at matched times.

Conclusions: Although producing different absolute numbers, sRPE derived from either the BORG-CR10 or BORG-RPE provides essentially interchangeable estimates of perceived exercise training intensity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0637DOI Listing
July 2019

Multi-dimensional flow cytometry analysis reveals increasing changes in the systemic neutrophil compartment during seven consecutive days of endurance exercise.

PLoS One 2018 30;13(10):e0206175. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Laboratory of Translational Immunology, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Endurance exercise is associated with a transient increase in neutrophil counts in the peripheral blood. Here we investigate the impact of intensified endurance exercise on the neutrophil compartment. We hypothesized that intensified endurance exercise leads to mobilization of neutrophil subsets, which are normally absent in the blood. Furthermore, we followed the potential build-up of neutrophil activation and the impact on overnight recovery of the neutrophil compartment during a seven-day cycling tour. The neutrophil compartment was studied in 28 healthy amateur cyclists participating in an eight-day strenuous cycling tour. Blood samples were taken at baseline, after 4 days and after 7 days of cycling. The neutrophil compartment was analyzed in terms of numbers and its phenotype by deep phenotyping of flow cytometry data with the multi-dimensional analysis method FLOOD. Repeated endurance exercise led to a gradual increase in total neutrophil counts over the days leading to a 1.26 fold-increase (95%CI 1.01-1.51 p = 0.0431) in the morning of day 8. Flow cytometric measurements revealed the appearance of 2 additional neutrophil subsets: CD16brightCD62Ldim and CD16dimCD62Lbright. A complex change in neutrophil phenotypes was present characterized by decreased expression of both CD11b and CD62L and marked increased expression of LAIR-1, VLA-4 and CBRM1/5. The changes in expression were found on all neutrophils present in the blood. Strikingly, in strong contrast to our findings during acute inflammation evoked by LPS challenge, these neutrophils did not upregulate classical degranulation markers. In fact, our FLOOD analysis revealed that the exercise induced neutrophil phenotype did not overlap with the neutrophil subsets arising upon acute inflammation. In conclusion, during multiple days of endurance exercise the neutrophil compartment does not regain homeostasis overnight. Thereby our study supports the concept of a build-up of inflammatory cues during repeated endurance exercise training, causing a prolonged change of the systemic neutrophil compartment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0206175PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207321PMC
March 2019

Relationship Between Various Training-Load Measures in Elite Cyclists During Training, Road Races, and Time Trials.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Apr 11;14(4):493-500. Epub 2019 Mar 11.

Purpose: The relationship between various training-load (TL) measures in professional cycling is not well explored. This study investigated the relationship between mechanical energy spent (in kilojoules), session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE), Lucia training impulse (LuTRIMP), and training stress score (TSS) in training, races, and time trials (TT).

Methods: For 4 consecutive years, field data were collected from 21 professional cyclists and categorized as being collected in training, racing, or TTs. Kilojoules (kJ) spent, sRPE, LuTRIMP, and TSS were calculated, and the correlations between the various TLs were made.

Results: 11,655 sessions were collected, from which 7596 sessions had heart-rate data and 5445 sessions had an RPE score available. The r between the various TLs during training was almost perfect. The r between the various TLs during racing was almost perfect or very large. The r between the various TLs during TTs was almost perfect or very large. For all relationships between TSS and 1 of the other measurements of TL (kJ spent, sRPE, and LuTRIMP), a significant different slope was found.

Conclusion: kJ spent, sRPE, LuTRIMP, and TSS all have a large or almost perfect relationship with each other during training, racing, and TTs, but during racing, both sRPE and LuTRIMP have a weaker relationship with kJ spent and TSS. Furthermore, the significant different slope of TSS vs the other measurements of TL during training and racing has the effect that TSS collected in training and road races differs by 120%, whereas the other measurements of TL (kJ spent, sRPE, and LuTRIMP) differ by only 73%, 67%, and 68%, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2017-0722DOI Listing
April 2019

Intensity and Load Characteristics of Professional Road Cycling: Differences Between Men's and Women's Races.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Mar 6;14(3):296-302. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Purpose: To provide a retrospective analysis of a large competition database describing the intensity and load demands of professional road-cycling races, highlighting the differences between men's and women's races.

Methods: In total, 20 male and 10 female professional cyclists participated in this study. During 4 consecutive years, heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, and power-output data were collected during both men's (n = 3024) and women's (n = 667) professional races. Intensity distribution in 5 heart-rate zones was quantified. Competition load was calculated using different metrics, including Training Stress Score (TSS), training impulse (TRIMP), and session rating of perceived exertion. Standardized effect size is reported as Cohen d.

Results: Large to very large higher values (d = 1.36-2.86) were observed for distance, duration, total work (in kilojoules), and mean power output in men's races. Time spent in high-intensity heart-rate zones (ie, zones 4 and 5) was largely higher in women's races (d = 1.38-1.55) than in men's races. Small higher loads were observed in men's races quantified using TSS (d = 0.53) and TRIMP (d = 0.23). However, load metrics expressed per kilometer were large to very largely higher in women's races for TSS·km (d = 1.50) and TRIMP·km (d = 2.31).

Conclusions: Volume and absolute load are higher in men's races, whereas intensity and time spent in high-intensity zones is higher in women's races. Coaches and practitioners should consider these differences in demands in the preparation of professional road cyclists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2018-0190DOI Listing
March 2019

Muscle morphology of the vastus lateralis is strongly related to ergometer performance, sprint capacity and endurance capacity in Olympic rowers.

J Sports Sci 2018 Sep 23;36(18):2111-2120. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

a Department of Human Movement Sciences , Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam Movement Sciences , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

Rowers need to combine high sprint and endurance capacities. Muscle morphology largely explains muscle power generating capacity, however, little is known on how muscle morphology relates to rowing performance measures. The aim was to determine how muscle morphology of the vastus lateralis relates to rowing ergometer performance, sprint and endurance capacity of Olympic rowers. Eighteen rowers (12♂, 6♀, who competed at 2016 Olympics) performed an incremental rowing test to obtain maximal oxygen consumption, reflecting endurance capacity. Sprint capacity was assessed by Wingate cycling peak power. M. vastus lateralis morphology (volume, physiological cross-sectional area, fascicle length and pennation angle) was derived from 3-dimensional ultrasound imaging. Thirteen rowers (7♂, 6♀) completed a 2000-m rowing ergometer time trial. Muscle volume largely explained variance in 2000-m rowing performance (R = 0.85), maximal oxygen consumption (R = 0.65), and Wingate peak power (R = 0.82). When normalized for differences in body size, maximal oxygen consumption and Wingate peak power were negatively related in males (r = -0.94). Fascicle length, not physiological cross-sectional area, attributed to normalized peak power. In conclusion, vastus lateralis volume largely explains variance in rowing ergometer performance, sprint and endurance capacity. For a high normalized sprint capacity, athletes may benefit from long fascicles rather than a large physiological cross-sectional area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2018.1439434DOI Listing
September 2018

Recovery of Cycling Gross Efficiency After Time-Trial Exercise.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2018 Sep 11;13(8):1028-1033. Epub 2018 Sep 11.

Background: Research has shown that gross efficiency (GE) declines during high-intensity exercise, but the time course of recovery of GE after high-intensity exercise has not yet been investigated.

Purpose: To determine the time course of the recovery of GE after time trials (TTs) of different lengths.

Methods: Nineteen trained male cyclists participated in this study. Before and after TTs of 2000 and 20,000 m, subjects performed submaximal exercise at 55% of the power output attained at maximal oxygen uptake (PVOmax). The postmeasurement continued until 30 min after the end of the TT, during which GE was determined over 3-min intervals. The magnitude-based-inferences approach was used for statistical analysis.

Results: GE decreased substantially during the 2000-m and 20,000-m TTs (-11.8% [3.6%] and -6.2% [4.0%], respectively). A most likely and very likely recovery of GE was found during the first half of the submaximal exercise bout performed after the 2000-m, with only a possible increase in GE during the first part of the submaximal exercise bout performed after the 20,000-m. After both distances, GE did not fully recover to the initial pre-TT values, as the difference between the pre-TT value and average GE value of minutes 26-29 was still most likely negative for both the 2000- and 20,000-m (-6.1% [2.8%] and -7.0% [4.5%], respectively).

Conclusions: It is impossible to fully recover GE after TTs of 2000- or 20,000-m during 30 min of submaximal cycling exercise performed at an intensity of 55% PVOmax.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2017-0429DOI Listing
September 2018

Let the Race Begin!

Authors:
Jos J de Koning

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2018 Jan 17;13(1). Epub 2018 Jan 17.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2017-0861DOI Listing
January 2018

Critical determinants of combined sprint and endurance performance: an integrative analysis from muscle fiber to the human body.

FASEB J 2018 04 5;32(4):2110-2123. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Optimizing physical performance is a major goal in current physiology. However, basic understanding of combining high sprint and endurance performance is currently lacking. This study identifies critical determinants of combined sprint and endurance performance using multiple regression analyses of physiologic determinants at different biologic levels. Cyclists, including 6 international sprint, 8 team pursuit, and 14 road cyclists, completed a Wingate test and 15-km time trial to obtain sprint and endurance performance results, respectively. Performance was normalized to lean body mass to eliminate the influence of body size. Performance determinants were obtained from whole-body oxygen consumption, blood sampling, knee-extensor maximal force, muscle oxygenation, whole-muscle morphology, and muscle fiber histochemistry of musculus vastus lateralis. Normalized sprint performance was explained by percentage of fast-type fibers and muscle volume ( R = 0.65; P < 0.001) and normalized endurance performance by performance oxygen consumption ( V̇o), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and muscle oxygenation ( R = 0.92; P < 0.001). Combined sprint and endurance performance was explained by gross efficiency, performance V̇o, and likely by muscle volume and fascicle length ( P = 0.056; P = 0.059). High performance V̇o related to a high oxidative capacity, high capillarization × myoglobin, and small physiologic cross-sectional area ( R = 0.67; P < 0.001). Results suggest that fascicle length and capillarization are important targets for training to optimize sprint and endurance performance simultaneously.-Van der Zwaard, S., van der Laarse, W. J., Weide, G., Bloemers, F. W., Hofmijster, M. J., Levels, K., Noordhof, D. A., de Koning, J. J., de Ruiter, C. J., Jaspers, R. T. Critical determinants of combined sprint and endurance performance: an integrative analysis from muscle fiber to the human body.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201700827RDOI Listing
April 2018

Changes in Choice Reaction Time During and After 8 Days Exhaustive Cycling Are Not Related to Changes in Physical Performance.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2018 Apr 11;13(4):428-433. Epub 2018 May 11.

Purpose: Reaction time has been proposed as a training monitoring tool, but to date, results are equivocal. Therefore, it was investigated whether reaction time can be used as a monitoring tool to establish overreaching.

Methods: The study included 30 subjects (11 females and 19 males, age: 40.8 [10.8] years, VO: 51.8 [6.3] mL/kg/min) who participated in an 8-day cycling event. The external exercise load increased approximately 900% compared with the preparation period. Performance was measured before and after the event using a maximal incremental cycling test. Subjects with decreased performance after the event were classified as functionally overreached (FOR) and others as acutely fatigued (AF). A choice reaction time test was performed 2 weeks before (pre), 1 week after (post), and 5 weeks after (follow-up), as well as at the start and end of the event.

Results: A total of 14 subjects were classified as AF and 14 as FOR (2 subjects were excluded). During the event, reaction time at the end was 68 ms (95% confidence interval, 46-89) faster than at the start. Reaction time post event was 41 ms (95% confidence interval, 12-71) faster than pre event and follow-up was 55 ms faster (95% confidence interval, 26-83). The time by class interaction was not significant during (P = .26) and after (P = .43) the event. Correlations between physical performance and reaction time were not significant (all Ps > .30).

Conclusions: No differences in choice reaction time between AF and FOR subjects were observed. It is suggested that choice reaction time is not valid for early detection of overreaching in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2017-0218DOI Listing
April 2018

The Role of the Rating-of-Perceived-Exertion Template in Pacing.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2018 Mar 14;13(3):367-373. Epub 2018 Mar 14.

The rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) template is thought to regulate pacing and has been shown to be very robust in different circumstances.

Purpose: The primary purpose was to investigate whether the RPE template can be manipulated by changing the race distance during the course of a time trial. The secondary purpose was to study how athletes cope with this manipulation, especially in terms of the RPE template.

Method: Trained male subjects (N = 10) performed 3 cycling time trials: a 10-km (TT10), a 15-km (TT15), and a manipulated 15-km (TTman). During the TTman, subjects started the time trial believing that they were going to perform a 10-km time trial. However, at 7.5 km they were told that it was a 15-km time trial.

Results: A significant main effect of time-trial condition on RPE scores until kilometer 7.5 was found (P = .016). Post hoc comparisons showed that the RPE values of the TT15 were lower than the RPE values of the TT10 (difference 0.60; CI95% 0.11, 1.0) and TTman (difference 0.73; CI95% 0.004, 1.5). After the 7.5 km, a transition phase occurs, in which an interaction effect is present (P = .011). After this transition phase, the RPE values of TTman and TT15 did not statistically differ (P = 1.00).

Conclusions: This novel distance-endpoint manipulation demonstrates that it is possible to switch between RPE templates. A clear shift in RPE during the TTman is present between the RPE templates of the TT10 and TT15. The shift strongly supports suggestions that pacing is regulated using an RPE template.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0813DOI Listing
March 2018

Optimizing the Team for Required Power During Track-Cycling Team Pursuit.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2017 Nov 19;12(10):1385-1391. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Purpose: Since the aim of the men's team pursuit in time-trial track cycling is to accomplish a distance of 4000 m as fast as possible, optimizing aerodynamic drag can contribute to achieving this goal. The aim of this study was to determine the drafting effect in second, third, and fourth position during the team pursuit in track cycling as a function of the team members' individual frontal areas in order to minimize the required power.

Method: Eight experienced track cyclists of the Dutch national selection performed 39 trials of 3 km in different teams of 4 cyclists at a constant velocity of 15.75 m/s. Frontal projected areas were determined, and together with field-derived drag coefficients for all 4 positions, the relationships between frontal areas of team members and drag fractions were estimated using generalized estimating equations.

Results: The frontal area of both the cyclist directly in front of the drafter and the drafter himself turned out to be significant determinants of the drag fraction at the drafter's position (P < .05) for all 3 drafting positions. Predicted required power for individuals in drafting positions differed up to 35 W depending on team composition. For a team, a maximal difference in team efficiency (1.2%) exists by selecting cyclists in a specific sequence.

Conclusion: Estimating required power for a specific team composition gives insight into differences in team efficiency for the team pursuit. Furthermore, required power for individual team members ranges substantially depending on team composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0451DOI Listing
November 2017
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