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Physiol Behav. 2015 Oct 1;149:39-44. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.05.021. Epub 2015 May 24.

Head-to-head running race simulation alters pacing strategy, performance, and mood state.

Author information

1
Endurance Performance Research Group (GEDAE), School of Physical Education and Sport (EEFE) of the University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
2
Center of Studies in the Physical Exercise Prescription (NEPEF), Physical Education of Department, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Lavras, MG, Brazil.
3
Sports Science Research Group, Department of Physical Education and Sports Science (CAV), Federal University of Pernambuco, Vitoria de Santo Antão, Brazil.
4
Endurance Performance Research Group (GEDAE), School of Physical Education and Sport (EEFE) of the University of São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address: bertuzzi@usp.br.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of the presence and absence of competitors on pacing, overall running performance, and mood state during a self-paced 3-km run. Nine recreational runners participated in this study. They performed the following tests: a) an incremental test to exhaustion to measure the respiratory compensation point (RCP), maximal oxygen uptake, and peak treadmill speed; b) a submaximal speed constant test to measure running economy; and c) two 3-km running time trials performed collectively (COL, head-to-head competition) or individually (IND, performed alone) to establish pacing and running performance. The COL condition was formed of a group of four runners or five runners. Runners were grouped by matched performance times and to retain head-to-head characteristics.A mood state profile questionnaire was completed before and after the 3-km running time trial. The overall performance was better in the COL than in the IND (11.75 ± 0.05 min vs. 12.25 ± 0.06 min, respectively; p = 0.04). The running speeds during the first 500 m were significantly greater in COL (16.8 ± 2.16 km·h−1) than in IND (15.3 ± 2.45 km·h−1) (p = 0.03).The gain in running speed from IND to COL during the first 400 m (i.e. running speed in COL less running speed in IND) was significantly correlated with the RCP (r = 0.88; p = 0.05). The vigor score significantly decreased from pre- to post-running in COL (p=0.05), but not in IND (p=0.20). Additionally, the post running vigor was significantly higher in IND compared to COL (p = 0.03).These findings suggested that the presence of competitors induces a fast start, which results in an improved overall performance and reduced post-exercise vigor scores, compared to an individual run.

KEYWORDS:

Middle-distance running; Mood state; POMS; Pacing strategy; Respiratory compensation point

PMID:
26013576
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.05.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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