INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON PACING ADOPTED BY ELITE TRIATHLETES DURING A COMPETITION

Abstract : Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the pacing strategies adopted by women and men during a World Cup ITU triathlon. Methods: Twelve elite triathletes (6 females, 6 males) competed in a World Cup Olympic distance competition where speed and heart rate (HR) were measured in the three events. The power output (PO) was recorded in cycling to determine the time spent in 5 intensity zones ([0-10% VT1[ ; [10% VT1-VT1[ ; [VT1-VT2[ ; [VT2-MAP[ and ≥ MAP) (VT : ventilatory threshold; MAP : maximal aerobic power). Results: Swimming and running speeds decreased similarly for both genders (p < 0.05) and HR values were similar through the whole race (92±2% and 92±3% of maximal HR for women and men, respectively). The distribution of time spent in the 5 zones during the cycling leg was the same for both genders. The men's speed and PO decreased after the first bike lap (p < 0.05) and the women spent relatively more time above MAP in the hilly sections (45±4% vs. 32±4%). The men's running speed decreased significantly over the whole circuit, whereas the women slowed only over the uphill and downhill sections (p < 0.05). Conclusion: This study indicates that both female and male elite triathletes adopted similar positive pacing strategies during swimming and running legs. Men pushed the pace harder during the swim-to-cycle transition contrary to the women and female triathletes were more affected by changes in slope during the cycling and running phases.
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Yann Le Meur, Christophe Hausswirth, Sylvain Dorel, Frank Bignet, Jeanick Brisswalter, et al.. INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON PACING ADOPTED BY ELITE TRIATHLETES DURING A COMPETITION. European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer Verlag, 2009, 106 (4), pp.535-545. ⟨10.1007/s00421-009-1043-4⟩. ⟨hal-01713184⟩

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