PRE-COOLING DOES NOT IMPROVE ENDURANCE TIME-TRIAL PERFORMANCE

Czajka, A., Brandenburg, J. P., Pitney, W. A., & Lukaszuk, J. M. (2008). The effects of cooling vests on endurance performance in the warm temperatures. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis, Presentation Number 2059.

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This study examined whether wearing a cooling vest during an active warm-up would improve 10-km time-trial performance among male endurance runners (N = 7) in comparison to 10-km time-trial performance without pre-cooling. Ss completed three 10-km time-trials (one familiarization and two experimental) on a treadmill following a 30-minute warm-up in 24-26C conditions. Before the experimental time-trials, runners wore either a cooling vest or a t-shirt (control) during the warm-up with the order in which these were performed randomized. Heart rates, core temperatures (measured by an ingestible probe), ratings of perceived exertion, thermal sensation responses, and 2-km split times of the two experimental time-trials were compared.

No difference was found between the vest and control conditions for the 10-km time-trials. No differences between the conditions were observed in the 2-km spilt times. Heart rate at the start of the time-trials was significantly lower for the control than for the vest condition. At the start of the time-trials core temperatures were similar. During the time-trials, no differences in heart rate or core temperature were observed between the conditions. While ratings of perceived exertion and thermal sensations increased during both experimental time-trials, they were not statistically different.

Implication. Pre-cooling by wearing a cooling vest during an active warm-up does not improve 10-km performance in male endurance runners. The cooling vest use during warm-up did not produce any physiological or psychological benefit.

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