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Sprint performance under heat stress: A review

Abstract : Training and competition in major track-and-field events, and for many team or racquet sports, often require the completion of maximal sprints in hot (>30 °C) ambient conditions. Enhanced short-term (<30 s) power output or single-sprint performance, resulting from transient heat exposure (muscle temperature rise), can be attributed to improved muscle contractility. Under heat stress, elevations in skin/core temperatures are associated with increased cardiovascular and metabolic loads in addition to decreasing voluntary muscle activation; there is also compelling evidence to suggest that large performance decrements occur when repeated-sprint exercise (consisting of brief recovery periods between sprints, usually <60 s) is performed in hot compared with cool conditions. Conversely, poorer intermittent-sprint performance (recovery periods long enough to allow near complete recovery, usually 60–300 s) in hotter conditions is solely observed when exercise induces marked hyperthermia (core temperature >39 °C). Here we also discuss strategies (heat acclimatization, precooling, hydration strategies) employed by " sprint " athletes to mitigate the negative influence of higher environmental temperatures.
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Franck Brocherie, Olivier Girard, D. J. Bishop. Sprint performance under heat stress: A review. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Wiley, 2015, Training and Competing in the Heat, 25 (S1), pp.79 - 89. ⟨10.1111/sms.12437⟩. ⟨hal-01627086⟩



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