Plasma volume responses associated with a sprint triathlon in novice triathletes

L. R. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Short-course triathlons have recently become popular in Australia, especially with novice athletes as a lead up to the longer versions. This study investigated the changes that occurred in plasma volume of novice triathletes undertaking their first competitive triathlon. Ten males participated in the event which took place on a cool, overcast day and consisted of a 1.0-km swim, a 30-km cycle ride, and a 10-km run. The subjects were all well trained with VO2max values of 53.2 +/- 6.1 ml A control experiment was also conducted with the athletes spending the same time resting in the same position as they did while competing in the event. Blood was drawn and analyzed for hemoglobin and packed cell volume. The time for completion of the triathlon was 134.8 +/- 6.9 min, with the swim stage being 25.2 +/- 5.7 min, the cycle stage 60.9 +/- 7.1 min, and the running stage 48.7 +/- 6.6 min. Weight decreased significantly (P less than 0.01) during the event from a pre-event high of 71.7 +/- 7.9 kg to a post-event low of 70.3 +/- 7.6 kg. Plasma volume during the triathlon by 14.3% +/- 1.8% (P less than 0.001), but during the control trial by only 5.2% +/- 1.6%. The difference of 9.1% +/- 1.7% can be attributed to the effects of exercise on plasma volume rather than an effect of posture. The major decrease in plasma volume was during the running stage of the triathlon during which it decreased by 6.2% +/- 1.7%, of which 3.0% +/- 1.8% was attributable to exercise alone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1989

Cite this