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THE PHYSIOLOGY OF MOUNTAIN BIKING

Impellizzeri FM, Marcora SM.

Human Performance Laboratory, MAPEI Sport Research Center, Castellanza (VA), Italy.

Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity and an Olympic sport. Cross-country circuit races have a winning time of approximately equal 120 minutes and are performed at an average heart rate close to 90% of the maximum, corresponding to 84% of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max). More than 80% of race time is spent above the lactate threshold. This very high exercise intensity is related to the fast starting phase of the race; the several climbs, forcing off-road cyclists to expend most of their effort going against gravity; greater rolling resistance; and the isometric contractions of arm and leg muscles necessary for bike handling and stabilisation. Because of the high power output (up to 500W) required during steep climbing and at the start of the race, anaerobic energy metabolism is also likely to be a factor of off-road cycling and deserves further investigation. Mountain bikers` physiological characteristics indicate that aerobic power (VO2max >70 mL/kg/min) and the ability to sustain high work rates for prolonged periods of time are prerequisites for competing at a high level in off-road cycling events. The anthropometric characteristics of mountain bikers are similar to climbers and all-terrain road cyclists. Various parameters of aerobic fitness are correlated to cross-country performance, suggesting that these tests are valid for the physiological assessment of competitive mountain bikers, especially when normalised to body mass. Factors other than aerobic power and capacity might influence off-road cycling performance and require further investigation. These include off-road cycling economy, anaerobic power and capacity, technical ability and pre-exercise nutritional strategies.

Sports Med. 2007;37(1):59-71

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MATCH RUNNING PERFORMANCE IN ELITE AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL.
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS OF JUNIOR CYCLISTS OF DIFFERENT SPECIALTIES AND PERFORMANCE LEVELS.
THE COST OF RUNNING ON NATURAL GRASS AND ARTIFICIAL TURF SURFACES.
TIME COURSE OF THE HEMOGLOBIN MASS RESPONSE TO NATURAL ALTITUDE TRAINING IN ELITE ENDURANCE CYCLISTS.
AEROBIC FITNESS VARIABLES DO NOT PREDICT THE PROFESSIONAL CAREER OF YOUNG CYCLISTS.
PHYSIOLOGICAL DETERMINANTS OF YO-YO INTERMITTENT RECOVERY TEST IN MALE SOCCER PLAYERS
REPEATED-SPRINT ABILITY IN PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR SOCCER PLAYERS.
AEROBIC AND EXPLOSIVE POWER PERFORMANCE OF ELITE ITALIAN REGIONAL-LEVEL BASKETBALL PLAYERS.
EFFECTS OF INTERMITTENT-ENDURANCE FITNESS ON MATCH PERFORMANCE IN YOUNG MALE SOCCER PLAYERS.
HIGH-INTENSITY TRAINING IN FOOTBALL.
GLYCEMIC INDEX IN SPORT NUTRITION
EFFECTS OF GRADIENT AND SPEED ON FREELY CHOSEN CADENCE: THE KEY ROLE OF CRANK INERTIAL LOAD
EFFECTS OF AEROBIC TRAINING ON THE EXERCISE-INDUCED DECLINE IN SHORT-PASSING ABILITY IN JUNIOR SOCCER PLAYERS.
AGEING AND PHYSICAL MATCH PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER REFEREES.
SEASONAL CHANGES IN AEROBIC FITNESS INDICES IN ELITE CYCLISTS.
EFFECT OF MATCH-RELATED FATIGUE ON SHORT-PASSING ABILITY IN YOUNG SOCCER PLAYERS
VALIDITY OF A REPEATED-SPRINT TEST FOR FOOTBALL.
LEVEL GROUND AND UPHILL CYCLING ABILITY IN ELITE FEMALE MOUNTAIN BIKERS AND ROAD CYCLISTS
TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE DURING SOCCER MATCHES OF THE ITALIAN SERIE A LEAGUE: EFFECT OF FATIGUE AND COMPETITIVE LEVEL
EFFECT OF PLYOMETRIC TRAINING ON SAND VERSUS GRASS ON MUSCLE SORENESS AND JUMPING AND SPRINTING ABILITY IN SOCCER PLAYERS.
SPRINT VS. INTERVAL TRAINING IN FOOTBALL.
RELIABILITY OF ISOKINETIC STRENGTH IMBALANCE RATIOS MEASURED USING THE CYBEX NORM DYNAMOMETER
HEART RATE AND BLOOD LACTATE CORRELATES OF PERCEIVED EXERTION DURING SMALL-SIDED SOCCER GAMES
VARIATION IN TOP LEVEL SOCCER MATCH PERFORMANCE.
A VERTICAL JUMP FORCE TEST FOR ASSESSING BILATERAL STRENGTH ASYMMETRY IN
THE YO-YO INTERMITTENT RECOVERY TEST IN BASKETBALL PLAYERS
FACTORS INFLUENCING PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO SMALL-SIDED SOCCER GAMES
VALIDITY OF SIMPLE FIELD TESTS AS INDICATORS OF MATCH-RELATED PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE IN TOP-LEVEL PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF MOUNTAIN BIKING
ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL MATCH PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER REFEREES WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO FIRST HALF AND PLAYER WORK RATES.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PUSH PHASE AND FINAL RACE TIME IN SKELETON PERFORMANCE
CARDIOVASCULAR RESPONSES DURING RECREATIONAL 5-A-SIDE INDOOR-SOCCER
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PERFORMANCE EFFECTS OF GENERIC VERSUS SPECIFIC AEROBIC TRAINING IN SOCCER PLAYERS.
PREDICTION OF TIME TO EXHAUSTION FROM BLOOD LACTATE RESPONSE DURING SUBMAXIMAL EXERCISE IN COMPETITIVE CYCLISTS.
CARDIORESPIRATORY RESPONSES TO YO-YO INTERMITTENT ENDURANCE TEST IN NONELITE YOUTH SOCCER PLAYERS
AEROBIC FITNESS AND YO-YO CONTINUOUS AND INTERMITTENT TESTS PERFORMANCES IN SOCCER PLAYERS: A CORRELATION STUDY.
IS AEROBIC POWER REALLY CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS IN ALPINE SKIING?
CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PHYSIOLOGICAL VARIABLES AND PERFORMANCE IN HIGH LEVEL CROSS COUNTRY OFF ROAD CYCLISTS.
CARDIOVASCULAR RESPONSES TO AEROBIC STEP DANCE SESSIONS WITH AND WITHOUT APPENDICULAR OVERLOAD
ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY OF A REPEATED SPRINT ABILITY TEST AND ITS REPRODUCIBILITY IN SOCCER
VARIABLES INFLUENCING SOCCER-SPECIFIC EXERCISE INTENSITY
PHYSIOLOGY OF OFF-ROAD CYCLING
PHYSIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF AEROBIC TRAINING IN SOCCER.
PHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES TO OFF-ROAD CYCLING PERFORMANCE.
ESTIMATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL POWER-TIME TO EXHAUSTION RELATIONSHIP
THE ENERGY EXPENDITURE OF AN OCCUPATIONAL, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: TILE LAYING
THE ASSESSMENT OF LOWER LIMBS BILATERAL STRENGTH IMBALANCE USING VERTICAL JUMPS ON FORCE PLATFORM
A COMPARISON OF SMALL-SIDED GAMES AND INTERVAL TRAINING
USE OF RPE-BASED TRAINING LOAD IN SOCCER.
RELIABILITY OF HEART RATE RECORDED DURING SOCCER TRAINING
SOCCER PERFORMANCE: RELATIONSHIP WITH OPPONENT
PLASMA ACTH RESPONSE TO EXHAUSTIVE EXERCISE IN OVERTRAINED PROFESSIONAL CYCLISTS
MONITORING TRAINING LOAD IN ITALIAN FOOTBALL
MLSS DOES NOT CORRESPOND TO THE MAXIMAL RATE OF LACTATE ELIMINATION
ECONOMY DIFFERENCES AMONG HIGH LEVEL RACE WALKERS
A SIMPLE PREDICTION OF THE EXHAUSTION TIME DURING SUBMAXIMAL CYCLING
VALIDITY OF A SUBMAXIMAL RUNNING TEST TO EVALUATE AEROBIC FITNESS CHANGES IN SOCCER PLAYERS
EXERCISE INTENSITY DURING OFF-CYCLING COMPETITIONS.