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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2002 Dec;42(4):381-8.

Recovery kinetics of oxygen uptake following severe-intensity exercise in runners.

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Laboratoire des Sciences du Sport, Besançon, France. s.perry@staps.univ-montp



This investigation sought to characterise the oxygen uptake (VO2) off-transient kinetics from severe exercise and to clarify discrepancies between on- and off-transient kinetics for VO2 seen in humans.


Eleven competitive endurance athletes underwent treadmill running until exhaustion at work-rates corresponding to the speed that elicited approximately 95% of maximal VO2. Gas exchange variables were determined breath-by-breath. Computerised non-linear regression techniques were used to fit the VO2 on- and off-transient kinetics. A 3-exponential model described the VO2 on-transient. VO2 off-transient was analysed to each response time course using 3 different models: a single-exponential model for the entire period and 2 3-exponential models where exponential terms starting either together after a common time delay or after independent time delays.


Both 3-exponential models provided an excellent fit (r2>0.90) to the off-transient data. Compared with on-transient, VO2 off-transient kinetics was associated with a slower primary phase (time constant: 16+/-4 vs 39+/-13 sec, p<0.01) but was similar both in time delay and amplitude.


These data indicate that there is no general symmetry between the exercise and recovery kinetics for VO2 because the response of the primary phase of VO2 off-transient resolves to a greater time constant, reflecting altered tissue metabolism. However, the mechanism(s) for the slow component is slow both in developing and to recover within the severe exercise domain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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