Physiological demands of the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race and predictors of performance

Greeff, Marli (2014-12)

Thesis (MScSportSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this qualitative-quantitative study was to describe the exercise intensity and predictors of performance of a multi-stage mountain bike (MTB) race (2014 Absa Cape Epic) lasting 8 days. Twenty-three amateur mountain bikers (age 39 ± 9 years, height 178.8 ± 8.2 cm, body mass 74.7 ± 9.1 kg, VO2max 54 ± 7 ml.kg-1.min-1) who completed the 2014 Absa Cape Epic were involved in the study. The participants were divided into two groups according to their MTB experience. The experienced group included participants who previously completed more than three 3-day multi-stage MTB events and the novices group included those who has completed less than 3-day multi-stage MTB events. Prior to the event the participants completed a maximal aerobic cycling test and a simulated 40 km time trial (TT). The maximal aerobic test was used to determine 3 work intensity zones based on heart rate (HR) corresponding to blood lactate thresholds (LT: increase in blood lactate concentration of 1 mmol.l-1 above baseline values and the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), a fixed blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol.l-1). There were no statistically significant differences in the physical, physiological and performance variables measured in the laboratory between the two groups. The exercise intensity during the Cape Epic was measured using telemetric HR monitoring sets. RPE values were noted after each stage of the race. The mean HR was 88.1 ± 5.3% (experienced) and 84.2 ± 11.0% (novices) of maximal HR during the race or 88.9 ± 3.5% (experienced) and 85.9 ± 10.6 (novices) of laboratory determined maximum HR. More time was spent in the “low” HR zone (43.1 % vs 58.5 %, respectively), while only a small amount of time was spent in the “hard” HR zone (7.4% and 6.1%, respectively). The experienced group spent statistically significantly more time in the “moderate” HR zone compared to the novices group (49.5 % vs. 35.4 %). The experienced group performed significantly better during the event compared to the novices group in both the total event time (P = 0.004) and the general classification (P = 0.01). Relative and absolute power output (PO) at OBLA (P = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively) were statistically significant predictors of total event time, while relative peak power output was a significant predictor of general classification for the event (P = 0.02) . The total TT time was a significant predictor of average event HR (P = 0.03). This study showed that this MTB stage race is physiologically very demanding and requires cyclists to have excellent endurance capacity, as well as strength and power. The parameters from the maximal aerobic capacity test correlated better with outdoor performance than parameters from the simulated 40 km TT. Therefore the standard maximal aerobic capacity test are sufficient for testing mountain bikers and sport scientists can continue using this test to prescribe exercise intensity zones for training and events.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie kwalitatiewe-kwantitatiewe studie was om die oefeningsintensiteit en voorspellers van prestasie tydens ‘n multi-dag bergfiets kompetisie (Absa Cape Epic) van 8 dae lank te bepaal. Drie-en-twintig bergfietsryers (ouderdom 39 ± 9 jaar, lengte 178.8 ± 8.2 cm, liggaamsmassa 74.7 ± 9.1 kg, VO2maks 54 ± 7 ml.kg-1.min-1) wat die 2014 Absa Cape Epic voltooi het, het aan die studie deelgeneem. Die deelnemers is in twee groepe verdeel volgens hulle ervaring in multi-dag bergfiets kompetisies. Die ervare groep was al die deelnemers wat meer as drie 3-dae multi-dag bergfiets kompetisies voltooi het. Die onervare groep was al die deelnemers wat minder as drie 3-dag multi-dag bergfiets kompetisies voltooi het. Voor die kompetisie het al die deelnemers ‘n maksimale aërobiese toets en ‘n gesimuleerde 40 km tydtoets in die laboratorium voltooi. Die maksimale aërobiese toets is gebruik om drie werk intensiteit sones volgens die hartspoed te bepaal, naamlik die hartspoed by die laktaatdraaipunt(‘n toename in bloed [laktaat] van 1 mmol.l-1 bo die basislynwaardes) en die hartspoed by die aanvang van bloedlaktaat akkummulasie (‘n vaste bloed [laktaat] waarde van 4 mmol.l-1). Daar was geen statisties betekenisvolle verskille in die fisiese, fisiologiese en prestasie veranderlikes tussen die twee groepe nie. Die oefeningsintensiteit tydens die Cape Epic was gemeet deur gebruik te maak van hartspoedmonitors. Die RPE waardes was aan die einde van elke skof genoteer. Die gemiddelde hartspoed was 88.1 ± 5.3 % (ervare) en 84.2 ± 11.0 % (onervare) van maksimale kompetisie hartspoed, of 88.9 ± 3.5 % (ervare) en 85.9 ± 10.6 % (onervare) van die maksimale hartspoed soos in die laboratorium gemeet. Die fietsryers het meer tyd spandeer in die “lae” hartspoed sone (43.1 % vs 58.5 %, onderskeidelik), in vergelyking met die “moeilike” hartspoed sone (7.4 % vs 6.1 %, onderskeidelik). Die ervare groep het statisties betekenisvol meer tyd in die “matige” hartspoed sone spandeer (49.5 % vs. 35.4 %) in vergelyking met die onervere groep. Die ervare groep het beter presteer tydens die kompetisie vir beide totale kompetisie tyd (P = 0.004) en algehele klassifikasie (P = 0.01). Relatiewe en absolute krag by aanvang van bloed laktaat akkumulasie was statisties betekenisvolle voorspellers van totale kompetisie tyd (P = 0.01 en 0.02, onderskeidelik), terwyl maksimale krag ‘n statisties betekenisvolle voorspeller was van algehele klassifikasie in die kompetisie (P = 0.02). Die totale tydtoets tyd was ‘n statisties betekenisvolle voorspeller van gemiddelde hartspoed tydens die kompetisie. Die studie het gewys dat hierdie multi-dag bergfiets kompetisie fisiologies baie uitdagend is en dat fietsryers uistekende uithouvermoë kapasiteit, sowel as krag en plofkrag moet besit. Die veranderlikes van die maksimale aërobiese toets het beter met prestasie in die veld gekorreleer as die veranderlikes van die gesimuleerde 40 km tydtoets. Daar word dus afgelei dat die standaard maksimale aërobiese toets voldoende is vir die toetsing van bergfietsryers en sportwetenskaplikes kan aanhou om hierdie toets te gebruik om oefeningsintensiteit sones voor te skryf vir oefensessies en kompetisies.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95970
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