Aerobic and Anaerobic Correlates of Multiple Sprint Cycling Performance

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Aerobic and anaerobic correlates of multiple sprint cycling performance. J. Strength Cond. Res. 20(4):792-798. 2006.--The aims of this study were to examine (a) the relationship between maximal oxygen uptake (O2max) and several performance indices of multiple sprint cycling; (b) the relationship between maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) and those same performance indices; and (c) the influence of recovery duration on the magnitude of those relationships. Twenty-five physically active men completed a O2max test, a MAOD test, and 2 maximal intermittent (20 x 5 seconds) sprint cycling tests with contrasting recovery periods (10 seconds or 30 seconds). Mean +/- SD for age, height, and body mass were 20.6 +/- 1.5 years, 177.2 +/- 5.4 cm, and 78.2 +/- 8.2 kg, respectively. All tests were conducted on a friction-braked cycle ergometer with subsequent data normalized for body mass. Moderate (0.3 r < 0.5) positive correlations were observed between power output data and MAOD (range, 0.31-0.46; 95% confidence limits, -0.10 to 0.72). Moderate to large positive correlations also were observed between power output data and O2max, the magnitude of which increased as values were averaged across all sprints (range, 0.45-0.67; 95% confidence limits 0.07-0.84). Correlations between fatigue and O2max were greater in the intermittent protocol with 30-second recovery periods (r = -0.34; 95% confidence limits, 0.06 to -0.65). The results of this study reflect the complex energetics associated with multiple sprint work. Though the findings add support to the idea that multiple sprint sports demand a combination of speed and endurance, further longitudinal research is required to confirm the relative importance of these parameters.