Smoglia, J. M., Nastase, L. M., Fisk, M. Z., Steigerwald, M. D., & Rundell, K. W. (June 02, 2010). Quantification of pacing strategies in a six-minute cycling work accumulation test. Presentation 1614 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This investigation quantified different pacing strategies used during a maximal work accumulation test performed on a cycle ergometer. Male endurance-trained athletes (N = 31) completed a six-minute self-paced maximal work accumulation test on an electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. Cumulative mean power output was recorded every 30 seconds. Data from each recording were normalized to the mean six minute power output and analyzed using cluster analysis techniques.

Three general types of pacing patterns were revealed. A conservative strategy was observed (N = 10), in which Ss progressively increased their mean power output throughout the test. A very aggressive strategy (N = 10) showed Ss reaching maximal power output (121.7% of final power output) at 90 seconds before declining steadily in power output for the remainder of the test. A moderate strategy was noted (N = 11). Ss reached maximum power output at 120 seconds (106.7% of final power output).

Implication. Three distinct types of self-selected pacing strategies were identified. The effect of these strategies on performance criteria in experiments, such as time-trials, should be considered as they may affect a study’s outcomes.

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