Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2005) 04, 342 - 353

Research article, Young investigator
The Effect of Cycling Cadence on Subsequent 10km Running Performance in Well-Trained Triathletes
Garry Tew 
Author Information
Sport and Exercise Physiology at Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Garry Tew
✉ 22 Heslin Close, Haxby, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 3GB, England.
Publish Date
Received: 22-02-2005
Accepted: 13-06-2005
Published (online): 01-09-2005
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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of different pedalling cadences on the performance of a subsequent 10km treadmill run. Eight male triathletes (age 38.9 ± 15.4 years, body mass 72.2 ± 5.2 kg, and stature 176 ± 6 cm; mean ± SD) completed a maximal cycling test, one isolated run (10km), and then three randomly ordered cycle-run sessions (65 minutes cycling + 10km run). During the cycling bout of the cycle-run sessions, subjects cycled at an intensity corresponding to 70% Pmax while maintaining one of three cadences, corresponding to preferred cadence (PC), PC+15% (fast cadence) and PC-15% (slow cadence). Slow, preferred and fast cadences were 71.8 ± 3.0, 84.5 ± 3.6, and 97.3 ± 4.3 rpm, respectively (mean ± SD). Physiological variables measured during the cycle-run and isolated run sessions were VO2, VE, RER, HR, RPE, and blood lactate. Biomechanical variables measured during the cycle-run and isolated run sessions were running velocity, stride length, stride frequency, and hip and knee angles at foot-strike and toe-off. Running performance times were also recorded. A significant effect of prior cycling exercise was found on 10km running time (p = 0.001) without any cadence effect (p = 0.801, ω2 = 0.006) (49:58 ± 8:20, 49:09 ± 8:26, 49:28 ± 8:09, and 44:45 ± 6:27 min·s-1 for the slow, preferred, fast, and isolated run conditions, respectively; mean ± SD). However, during the first 500 m of the run, running velocity was significantly higher after cycling at the preferred and fast cadences than after the slow cadence (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the slow cadence condition was associated with a significantly lower HR (p = 0.012) and VE (p = 0.026) during cycling than in the fast cadence condition. The results confirm the deterioration in running performance completed after the cycling event compared with the isolated run. However, no significant effect of cycling cadence on running performance was observed within the cadence ranges usually used by triathletes.

Key words: Bicycling, running, physiology, humans, biomechanics

           Key Points
  • Compared with an isolated run, completion of a cycling event impairs the performance of a subsequent run independently of the pedalling cadence.
  • The choice of cadence within triathletes’ usual range does not seem to influence the performance of a 10km run.
  • The results reinforce the necessity for triathletes to practice multi-block training in order to simulate the physiological responses experienced by the cycle-run transition.
  • Further research into the effects of cycling cadence on subsequent running performance is required.
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