Nethery, V. (2006). Sensory mediated dissociation affects RPE and ride time to fatigue in trained cyclists. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2002.

This project investigated dissociation from exercise strain in trained cyclists (N = 10) during high intensity work and its influence on high intensity cycling to fatigue. Ss completed four 15-min cycle trials (80% VO2max) under music (M), video (V), normal (N), and deprived (D) conditions (Latin-square ordering). RPE (Borg’s 6-20) and heart rate were recorded at 5-minute intervals. Cyclists then completed high intensity cycle rides to fatigue under the same four conditions. RPE and heart rate were recorded throughout and time to fatigue, average speed, and distance completed was recorded at the end of each trial.

RPE was lower in the music condition and higher in the deprived condition than in the other conditions and the differences among the four conditions increased over the 15-min exercise duration. Heart rate was similar among conditions and increased by 10% (15 bpm) over the 15 minutes. Cycling times to fatigue and distances completed were -10.5%, +12.6%, and +21.6% for D, V, and M conditions respectively when compared to normal. Average speed was similar among conditions.

Implication. Environmental characteristics impacted the perceptual responses to high intensity exercise in trained cyclists. This finding is in contrast to previous observations for similar work intensities using untrained subjects. Ride times to fatigue were longer under video and music conditions supporting a temporal extension of the observations made over the shorter 15-min exercise bout. "These data suggest that psychometric components contribute substantially to factors that limit prolonged exercise. The data also support information-processing models that hypothesize competition among multiple sensations from both endogenous and exogenous sources for attentional focus".

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