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
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 481 - 488

Research article
Challenges in Maintaining Emotion Regulation in a Sleep and Energy Deprived State Induced by the 4800Km Ultra-Endurance Bicycle Race; The Race Across AMerica (RAAM)
Ian M. Lahart1, Andrew M. Lane,1 , Andrew Hulton5, Karen Williams5, Richard Godfrey2, Charles Pedlar3, Mathew G. Wilson4, Gregory P. Whyte5
Author Information
1 University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, UK
2 Brunel University, Uxbridge, London, UK
3 St. Mary's University College, Twickenham, London, UK
4 Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
5 Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

Andrew M. Lane
‚úČ School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, UK
Email: A.M.Lane2@wlv.ac.uk
Publish Date
Received: 10-12-2012
Accepted: 10-05-2013
Published (online): 01-09-2013
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ABSTRACT

Multiday ultra-endurance races present athletes with a significant number of physiological and psychological challenges. We examined emotions, the perceived functionality (optimal-dysfunctional) of emotions, strategies to regulate emotions, sleep quality, and energy intake-expenditure in a four-man team participating in the Race Across AMerica (RAAM); a 4856km continuous cycle race. Cyclists reported experiencing an optimal emotional state for less than 50% of total competition, with emotional states differing significantly between each cyclist over time. Coupled with this emotional disturbance, each cyclist experienced progressively worsening sleep deprivation and daily negative energy balances throughout the RAAM. Cyclists managed less than one hour of continuous sleep per sleep episode, high sleep latency and high percentage moving time. Of note, actual sleep and sleep efficiency were better maintained during longer rest periods, highlighting the importance of a race strategy that seeks to optimise the balance between average cycling velocity and sleep time. Our data suggests that future RAAM cyclists and crew should: 1) identify beliefs on the perceived functionality of emotions in relation to best (functional-optimal) and worst (dysfunctional) performance as the starting point to intervention work; 2) create a plan for support sufficient sleep and recovery; 3) create nutritional strategies that maintain energy intake and thus reduce energy deficits; and 4) prepare for the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation so that they are able to appropriately respond to unexpected stressors and foster functional working interpersonal relationships.

Key words: Emotion regulation, mood, sleep, energy expenditure, ultra-endurance exercise


           Key Points
  • Completing the Race Across AMerica (RAAM); a 4856km continuous cycle race associated with sleep disturbance, an energy-deficient state, and experiencing intense unwanted emotions.
  • Cyclists reported experiencing an optimal emotional state for less than 50% of total competition and actual sleep and sleep efficiency was better maintained during longer rest periods.
  • We suggest that future RAAM cyclists and crew should:
 
 
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