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Influence of the triathlon segments sequence on performance, physiological and biomechanical variables in swimming, cycling and running

Abstract

Triathlon is formed by three cyclical modalities: i) swimming; ii) cycling and iii) running; consecutively within the same event and linked by two transitions. The athlete's ability to connect this three segments of the race optimally with high physiological demand, without generating excessive changes in homeostasis is crucial for the final result of the race. In the literature, there is a shortage of studies that analyzed triathlon in its entirety and the consequent changes that the previous stages cause in the later ones. The purpose of this project will be to investigate the influence of each segment of the triathlon in the subsequent stages with regard to performance, physiological and biomechanical variables, assessed using a protocol that simulates the Olympic distance and compared with control tests performed for each isolated sport. Ten triathletes will execute the protocols for the control tests (1500m freestyle, 40km cycling and 10km running) and the simulated race in a randomized way. In each protocol, heart rate, blood lactate concentration, muscle oxygen saturation will be assessed by means of non-invasive oximetry of the vastus lateralis muscle (i.e. near infrared spectroscopy) and respective biomechanical parameters for each segment. The comparisons between the control tests and the complete simulation will be tested by means of analysis of variance (ANOVA Test), using the appropriate post-test from the confirmation or not of the sample's normality by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov strategy. It is noteworthy that the results obtained will contribute to the way that triathletes' training is planned and structured. (AU)

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