Basset, F. A., & Boulay, M. R. (1998). Specificity of treadmill and ergocycle tests in triathletes, runners, and cyclists. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 1464.

"Because of the specificity of the adaptation in graded exercise tests, runners are generally tested on a treadmill and cyclists on an ergocycle. Triathletes, however, are in the difficult position of having to undergo three different tests if they want to use physiological variables in the monitoring of their training." The objective of this study was to evaluate the possibility of using a single test to establish training guidelines in running and/or cycling activities using cardiorespiratory variables.

Triathletes (M = 4; F = 2) and runners (M = 4; F = 2) and cyclists (M = 6) were tested on a treadmill and an ergocycle.

All variables, except heart rates, varied between the tests. For example, the treadmill yielded higher VO2max than the ergocycle.

These results show that triathletes could use a reference heart rate, gained from either a treadmill or ergocycle test, for both running and cycling training.

Implication. Heart rates in fit triathletes are not specific to the mode of exercise testing or performance.

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