Hettinga, F. J., De Koning, J. J., Emierl, M., Teunissen, L., & Foster, C. (2007). Effect of pacing strategy on total, anaerobic and aerobic work during a 1500-m cycling time-trial. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number 2552.

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"It has been shown that anaerobic energy expenditure is of great importance in regulating pacing strategy. Several studies suggest an effect of pacing strategy on anaerobic capacity, but thus far, no significant effect of pacing strategy on anaerobic capacity has been found. Further, the effect of pacing strategy on total work and aerobic work has not been investigated in these studies".

This study evaluated the effect of pacing strategy on total mechanical work, anaerobic work, and aerobic work produced during a 1,500 m cycling time trial in well-trained cyclists (N = 9). Three 1,500 m cycle ergometer time-trials with different strategies (conservative, even-paced, and aggressive) were performed. Finish time, total work, anaerobic work and aerobic work were calculated using VO2, respiratory exchange ratio, gross-efficiency, and external power output.

Ss were able to accomplish significantly more mechanical work when employing the even-paced strategy than under the conservative or aggressive strategies. The pacing strategy was clearly identifiable in the pattern of anaerobic energy expenditure, though total anaerobic work did not differ between strategies. No differences in aerobic work or pattern of aerobic energy expenditure were evident between the conditions. Pacing strategy affected finish time, that is, the even-paced strategy was superior to the other two strategies.

Total work generated during the time-trial was highest when even-pacing was employed. The pattern of anaerobic energy expenditure clearly varied with pacing strategy. Because there were no differences in total aerobic work and pattern of aerobic energy expenditure between the strategies, the effect of pacing strategy on total work must be attributable to its small effects on anaerobic work.

Implication. Even-paced aerobic performances yield the best results. Different pacing strategies affect anaerobic work expenditure, which accounts for performance differences.

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