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J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Dec;23(9):2533-41. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b73c3f.

Influence of hydration status on pacing during trail running in the heat.

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  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA. rebecca.stearns@uconn.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of hydration status on pacing of trail runners in the heat (wet bulb globe temperature = 26.2 +/- 1.8 degrees C). A randomized, crossover design was used and the participation occurred within a 2-week period. Seventeen competitive, well-trained distance runners (9 men, 8 women, age 27 +/- 7 years, height 171 +/- 9 cm, weight 64.2 +/- 9.0 kg, body fat 14.6 +/- 5.5%) completed the study. Subjects started maximum effort trials that were either hydrated (HYR) and dehydrated (DHR). Each trial subjects ran three 4-km loops with a 4-minute rest between loops. Significance was set at p < or = 0.05. The DHR had a significantly greater body mass loss at the pre- and posttrial time points (-2.05 +/- 1.25 and -4.3 +/- 1.25%, respectively) vs. HYR (-0.79 +/- 0.95 and -2.05 +/- 1.09%, respectively). Subjects ran the 12 km faster (p < 0.001) in HYR (3,191 +/- 366 seconds) vs. DHR (3,339 +/- 450 seconds). Differences between fastest and slowest loops during HYR (54 +/- 40 seconds) were significantly smaller than DHR (111 +/- 93 seconds; p = 0.041). Additionally, loop times were slower for loop 1 (HYR 1,039 +/- 116 seconds vs. DHR 1,071 +/- 123 seconds; p = 0.028), loop 2 (HYR 1,066 +/- 123 seconds vs. DHR 1,105 +/- 148 seconds; p = 0.01) and loop 3 (HYR 1,081 +/- 132 seconds vs. DHR 1,168 +/- 189 seconds; p = 0.003) when dehydrated. Percent of the race completed by loop as calculated by finishing time was significantly different at loop 2 between HYR (33.6 +/- 0.36%) and DHR (33.1 +/- 0.35%, p = 0.002) and loop 3 (33.8 +/- 0.75% vs. 34.9 +/- 1.35%, respectively, p = 0.01). Total variation from the mean pace for the duration of the HYR compared to the DHR approached significance (p = 0.064). Average percent of variance approached significance between trials (p = 0.057). Differences between the fastest and slowest loops between trials demonstrated an increased ability for hydrated individuals to evenly pace themselves. While total variation from the mean pace was not significantly different, it could have practical applicability. These findings reveal that dehydration is associated with decreases in a runners' ability to evenly pace themselves during a competitive situation.

PMID:
19675477
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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