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Training and Competition Readiness in Triathlon
Open AccessArticle

Effects of Cycling on Subsequent Running Performance, Stride Length, and Muscle Oxygen Saturation in Triathletes

Sports Sciences Faculty, University of Extremadura, Cáceres 10003, Spain
Education, Psychology and Sports Sciences Faculty, University of Huelva, Huelva 21007, Spain
HE Department, South Essex College, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1ND, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sports 2019, 7(5), 115;
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
Running performance is a determinant factor for victory in Sprint and Olympic distance triathlon. Previous cycling may impair running performance in triathlons, so brick training becomes an important part of training. Wearable technology that is used by triathletes can offer several metrics for optimising training in real-time. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of previous cycling on subsequent running performance in a field test, while using kinematics metrics and SmO2 provided by wearable devices that are potentially used by triathletes. Ten trained triathletes participated in a randomised crossover study, performing two trial sessions that were separated by seven days: the isolated run trial (IRT) and the bike-run trial (BRT). Running kinematics, physiological outcomes, and perceptual parameters were assessed before and after each running test. The running distance was significantly lower in the BRT when compared to the IRT, with a decrease in stride length of 0.1 m (p = 0.00) and higher %SmO2 (p = 0.00) in spite of the maximal intensity of exercise. No effects were reported in vertical oscillation, ground contact time, running cadence, and average heart rate. These findings may only be relevant to ‘moderate level’ triathletes, but not to ‘elite’ ones. Triathletes might monitor their %SmO2 and stride length during brick training and then compare it with isolated running to evaluate performance changes. Using wearable technology (near-infrared spectroscopy, accelerometry) for specific brick training may be a good option for triathletes. View Full-Text
Keywords: SmO2; wearable; stride length; monitoring; NIRS SmO2; wearable; stride length; monitoring; NIRS
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Olcina, G.; Perez-Sousa, M.Á.; Escobar-Alvarez, J.A.; Timón, R. Effects of Cycling on Subsequent Running Performance, Stride Length, and Muscle Oxygen Saturation in Triathletes. Sports 2019, 7, 115.

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