The short-term recovery of sprint cycling performance
Short-term sprint cycling performance recovery was investigated, with consideration to the Match Sprint. Fifteen strength-trained men (age: 24 ± 6 years; height: 1.81 ± 0.08 m; body mass: 83.4 ± 8.4 kg) were first familiarised with an 18 s sprint. During the baseline trial, blood lactate concentration, tissue saturation index, and oxygen uptake were monitored following a single sprint. In the remaining trials, the recovery duration (45, 90, 135, 180, 360, and 720 s) between two sprints was varied. Peak (PPO) and mean (MPO) power output were computed for each sprint. The recovery percentage of MPO and the recovery time-course of the physiological variables were modelled using one- and two-phase exponential functions. Statistical significance was set a priori at p < 0.05. Effects of sprint number, recovery time, and a sprint number × recovery time interaction were found for both PPO and MPO. Post hoc tests revealed significant differences between sprints at all time-points for both variables. The time constant (τ), 130.6 ± 95.6 s, of the one-phase exponential function (asymptotic amplitude [A0] = 97.4 ± 2.5%), suggested that performance recovery had stabilised within 12 minutes. However, the parameters of the two-phase function indicated that recovery was incomplete (A0 = 87.7 ± 6.4%, A1 = 11.9 ± 5.2%, τ0 = 56.3 ± 33.3 s, τ1 = 458.2 ± 283.3 s). The τ for MPO recovery was not significantly correlated with any of the physiological variables. The reduction in sprint cycling performance throughout the tested time-period could be meaningful for athletes competing in the Match Sprint.