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Metabolic and Heart Rate Responses to Open-Wheel Automobile Road Racing: A Single-Subject Study

JACOBS PATRICK L.; OLVEY, STEPHEN E.
The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2000
Original Article: PDF Only

ABSTRACTAssessment of the physiological stresses placed on automobile race drivers has generally been restricted to measurement of heart rate (HR) activity and limited indicators of activity intensity. The purpose of this single-subject study was to utilize portable metabolic assessment and electrocar-diographic equipment to assess the physiological responses to high-speed Indy-car road racing. A professional open-wheel race driver participated in a series of incremental driving tests (from moderate to competition speeds) as well as peak arm exercise (AE) and treadmill (LE) testing. During the driving tests, HR and oxygen uptake (Vo2) were closely related to driving pace. Average HR values ranged from 100 to 120 b·min−1 at moderate speeds and 130 to 150 b·min−1 at competitive velocities. Oxygen uptake increased from approximately 1 L·min−1 at initial test speeds to over 3 L·min−1 at race velocity. This metabolic demand was more than 75% of the peak Vo2 exhibited during LE and greater than 100% of the AE ·o2peak. The results of this study indicate that the physical demands required in high-speed road racing are similar to those encountered within traditional sporting settings.

Assessment of the physiological stresses placed on automobile race drivers has generally been restricted to measurement of heart rate (HR) activity and limited indicators of activity intensity. The purpose of this single-subject study was to utilize portable metabolic assessment and electrocar-diographic equipment to assess the physiological responses to high-speed Indy-car road racing. A professional open-wheel race driver participated in a series of incremental driving tests (from moderate to competition speeds) as well as peak arm exercise (AE) and treadmill (LE) testing. During the driving tests, HR and oxygen uptake (Vo2) were closely related to driving pace. Average HR values ranged from 100 to 120 b·min−1 at moderate speeds and 130 to 150 b·min−1 at competitive velocities. Oxygen uptake increased from approximately 1 L·min−1 at initial test speeds to over 3 L·min−1 at race velocity. This metabolic demand was more than 75% of the peak Vo2 exhibited during LE and greater than 100% of the AE ·o2peak. The results of this study indicate that the physical demands required in high-speed road racing are similar to those encountered within traditional sporting settings.

© 2000 National Strength and Conditioning Association