It is common for the physiological working capacity of a triathlete when cycling and running to be assessed on two separate days. The aim of this study was to establish whether an incremental running test to exhaustion has a negative effect after a 5 h recovery from an incremental cycling test. Eight moderately trained triathletes (age, 26.2 +/- 3.4 years; body mass, 67.3 +/- 9.1 kg; VO2max when cycling, 59 +/- 13 ml x kg x min(-1); mean +/- s) completed an incremental running test 5 h after an incremental cycling test (fatigue) as well as an incremental running test without previous activity (control). Maximum running speed, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and the lactate threshold were determined for each incremental running test and correlated with the average speed during a 5 km run, which was performed immediately after a 20 km cycling time-trial, as in a sprint triathlon. There were no significant differences in maximum running speed, VO2max or the lactate threshold in either incremental running test (control or fatigue). Furthermore, good agreement was found for each physiological variable in both the control and fatigue tests. For the fatigue test, there were significant correlations between the average speed during a 5 km run and both VO2max expressed in absolute terms (r = 0.83) and the lactate threshold (r = 0.88). However, maximum running speed correlated most strongly with the average speed during a 5 km run (r = 0.96). The results of this study indicate that, under controlled conditions, an incremental running test can be performed successfully 5 h after an incremental cycling test to exhaustion. Also, the maximum running speed achieved during an incremental running test is the variable that correlates most strongly with the average running speed during a 5 km run after a 20 km cycling time-trial in well-trained triathletes.
- Endurance athletes
- Exercise testing
- Physiological working capacity