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PLoS One. 2008 Aug 13;3(8):e2943. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002943.

How do humans control physiological strain during strenuous endurance exercise?

Author information

1
Department of Exercise Physiology, European University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Distance running performance is a viable model of human locomotion.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

To evaluate the physiologic strain during competitions ranging from 5-100 km, we evaluated heart rate (HR) records of competitive runners (n = 211). We found evidence that: 1) physiologic strain (% of maximum HR (%HRmax)) increased in proportional manner relative to distance completed, and was regulated by variations in running pace; 2) the %HRmax achieved decreased with relative distance; 3) slower runners had similar %HRmax response within a racing distance compared to faster runners, and despite differences in pace, the profile of %HRmax during a race was very similar in runners of differing ability; and 4) in cases where there was a discontinuity in the running performance, there was evidence that physiologic effort was maintained for some time even after the pace had decreased.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The overall results suggest that athletes are actively regulating their relative physiologic strain during competition, although there is evidence of poor regulation in the case of competitive failures.

PMID:
18698405
PMCID:
PMC2491903
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0002943
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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