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Effects of time of day on pacing in a 4-km time trial in trained cyclists


Zadow, EK and Fell, JW and Kitic, C and Han, J and Wu, SSX, Effects of time of day on pacing in a 4-km time trial in trained cyclists, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 15, (10) pp. 1455-1459. ISSN 1555-0265 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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© 2020 Human Kinetics, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1123/ijspp.2019-0952


Context: Time of day has been shown to impact athletic performance, with improved performance observed in the late afternoon-early evening. Diurnal variations in physiological factors may contribute to variations in pacing selection; however, research investigating time-of-day influence on pacing is limited.

Purpose: To investigate the influence of time-of-day on pacing selection in a 4-km cycling time trial (TT).

Methods: Nineteen trained male cyclists (mean [SD] age 39.0 [10.7] y, height 1.8 [0.1] m, body mass 78.0 [9.4] kg, VO2max 62.1 [8.7] mL·kg-1·min-1) completed a 4-km TT on 5 separate occasions at 08:30, 11:30, 14:30, 17:30, and 20:30. All TTs were completed in a randomized order, separated by a minimum of 2 d and maximum of 7 d.

Results: No time-of-day effects were observed in pacing as demonstrated by similar power outputs over 0.5-km intervals (P = .78) or overall mean power output (333.0 [38.9], 339.8 [37.2], 335.5 [31.2], 336.7 [35.2], and 334.9 [35.7] W; P = .45) when TTs were performed at 08:30, 11:30, 14:30, 17:30, and 20:30. Preexercise tympanic temperature demonstrated a time-of-day effect (P < .001), with tympanic temperature higher at 14:30 and 17:30 than at 08:30 and 11:30.

Conclusion: While a biological rhythm was present in tympanic temperature, pacing selection and performance when completing a 4-km cycling TT were not influenced by time of day. The findings suggest that well-trained cyclists can maintain a robust pacing strategy for a 4-km TT regardless of time of the day.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:athletic performance, cycling, diurnal rhythms, energy expenditure, power output
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Fell, JW (Associate Professor James Fell)
UTAS Author:Kitic, C (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
ID Code:151854
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2022-08-05
Last Modified:2022-09-08

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