COOLING BEFORE A TIME-TRIAL PROMOTES MODEST IMPROVEMENTS IN CYCLISTS

Katica, C. P., Del Pozzi, A. T., Ballilionis, G., Herron, R. L., Bishop, S. H., Ryan, G. A., & Wingo, J. E. (2011). Effect of leg cooling versus ice vest cooling on time-trial paced cycling. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement abstract 763.

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This study tested the hypothesis that cooling interventions enhance performance during a 13-mile simulated time-trial in a warm environment. Trained male cyclists (N = 9) completed three simulated 13-mile time-trials in a warm environment (~26C, ~43.8 relative humidity) separated by 72 hours. Ss warmed-up for 10 minutes while wearing either an ice-vest on the torso, cooling packs wrapped around the quadriceps and calves, or no cooling apparatus (control).

Average core and mean skin temperatures and time-to-completion were not significantly different among the treatments. Despite a lack of statistical significance, the time-trial was completed faster during the ice-vest condition in seven of nine Ss when compared to the control condition. Five out of nine completed the time-trial faster (not significant) during the leg wrap condition than in the control condition.

Implication. Competitive cyclists may experience a modest benefit while utilizing cooling modalities during an active warm-up before a time-trial.

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