Triathlons : the swim to bicycle transition
Borchers, Gregory Eugene
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To examine the physiological characteristics of the swim to bicycle transition phase of triathlons, ten competitive male triathletes aged 22-28 performed a swim to bicycle transition (SBT) using tethered swimming as the pre-transition form of exercise. A control procedure (CP) using bicycling as the pre-transition form of exercise was also performed. Variables measured included VO2, VE, RER and HR. During the 20 min of pre-transition exercise, subjects swam at a workload requiring 40.3 mlkgmin-1 and bicycled at a workload requiring 42.5 mlkgmin-1. The same workload was used for post-transition bicycling in both tests. V02 values were not sig. (p<0.05) different between tests. However, VE was sig. (p<0.05) elevated during bicycling as compared to swimming. During the third and final minute of the transition V02, VE, and HR dropped to values that were not sig. (p<0.05) different. With the onset of post-transition exercise V02 and HR returned to pre-transition values within 3 minutes for both tests. VE was sig. (p<0.05) lower during post-transition bicycling in SBT as compared to CP. It was concluded that although statistically sig. differences did exist between the swim to bicycle transition and the control procedure, these differences did not appear to be large enough to warrant the development of specialized training programs to attempt to improve performance in the transition phase of triathlon competition. Based upon these findings, it is the recommendation of this study that triathletes could best improve their swim to bicycle transition performance by practicing and improving the techniques involved in the equipment changeover from swimming to bicycling and not from actually performing the transition between normal swimming and bicycling training sessions.
Triathlon -- Physiological aspects