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The effect of exercise modality on respiratory muscle performance in triathletes


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2001 - Volume 33 - Issue 12 - pp 2036-2043
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

BOUSSANA, A., S. MATECKI, O. GALY, O. HUE, M. RAMONATXO, and D. LE GALLAIS. The effect of exercise modality on respiratory muscle performance in triathletes. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 12, 2001, pp. 2036–2043.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the cycle-run and run-cycle successions of the triathlon and duathlon, respectively, on respiratory muscle strength and endurance.

Methods: Respiratory muscle strength was assessed by measuring maximal inspiratory (PImax) and expiratory (PEmax) pressures. Respiratory muscle endurance was assessed by measuring the time limit (Tlim). Twelve triathletes participated in a three-trial protocol. The first trial consisted of an incremental cycle test to assess the maximal oxygen uptake (&OV0312O2max) of triathletes. Trial 2 consisted of 20 min of cycling followed by 20 min of running (C-R), and trial 3 consisted of 20 min of running followed by 20 min of cycling (R-C). Trials 2 and 3 were performed at the same metabolic intensity (% &OV0312O2max). PImax and PEmax were measured before and 10 min after C-R and R-C, and 1 min after the post-C-R and post-R-C Tlim measurements (PImax 1′). Tlim was measured 1 d before and 30 min after C-R and R-C.

Results: The results showed a significant decrease in PImax after C-R (126.7 ± 4.3 cmH2O, P < 0.05) and R-C (123.7 ± 4.9 cmH2O, P < 0.05) compared with the baseline values (130 ± 3.8 and 129.6 ± 4.3 cmH2O, respectively). PImax 1′ showed a significantly greater decrease after R-C versus C-R (111.2 ± 5.5 cmH2O vs 121.2 ± 3.9 cmH2O, respectively, P < 0.001). Tlim after C-R (3.3 ± 0.3 min) and R-C (2.1 ± 0.3 min) decreased significantly compared with baseline values (4.19 ± 0.3 min and 4.02 ± 0.3 min, respectively). However, the Tlim decrease after R-C was significantly greater than after C-R (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: We concluded that respiratory muscle strength and endurance were less decreased after the cycle-run succession and that cycling induced a greater decrease in respiratory muscle endurance than running.

Laboratoire Sport Performance Santé, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, F-34090 Montpellier, FRANCE; Laboratoire ACTE, UFR-STAPS Antilles-Guyane, Campus de Fouillole BP 592, 97159 Pointre à Pitre, Cedex, FRANCE; and Laboratoire de Physiologie des Interactions, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Arnaud de Villeneuve, F-34295 Montpellier, Cedex 5, FRANCE

Submitted for publication September 2000.

Accepted for publication February 2001.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.