Sesboue, B., Bessot, N., Moussay, S., Gauthier, A., Larue, J., & Davenne, D. (2003). Diurnal variation in cycling kinematics. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 80.

The effect of time of day on cycling performance was studied. Ss were male competitive cyclists (N = 12) who performed two submaximal tests, one at 6 AM and the other at 6 PM.

Pedaling rates were higher in the afternoon than in the morning. The amount of variation in pedal velocity was less in the morning than in the afternoon. Ankle dynamics were different in the afternoon to that of the morning.

Implication. Muscular activation patterns in cycling are different in the afternoon to those of the morning. A more general interpretation of this is that in cyclic activities (e.g., rowing, running, cycling, kayaking, and swimming) technique and performance potential change according to the time of day. Better performances are usually possible later in the day.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.