Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the cycle-run and run-cycle successions of the triathlon and duathlon, respectively, on respiratory muscle strength and endurance.
Methods: Respiratory muscle strength was assessed by measuring maximal inspiratory (P(Imax)) and expiratory (P(Emax)) pressures. Respiratory muscle endurance was assessed by measuring the time limit (T(lim)). Twelve triathletes participated in a three-trial protocol. The first trial consisted of an incremental cycle test to assess the maximal oxygen uptake (.VO(2max)) of triathletes. Trial 2 consisted of 20 min of cycling followed by 20 min of running (C-R), and trial 3 consisted of 20 min of running followed by 20 min of cycling (R-C). Trials 2 and 3 were performed at the same metabolic intensity (%.VO(2max)). P(Imax) and P(Emax) were measured before and 10 min after C-R and R-C, and 1 min after the post-C-R and post-R-C T(lim) measurements (P(Imax) 1'). T(lim) was measured 1 d before and 30 min after C-R and R-C.
Results: The results showed a significant decrease in P(Imax) after C-R (126.7 +/- 4.3 cmH(2)O, P < 0.05) and R-C (123.7 +/- 4.9 cmH(2)O, P < 0.05) compared with the baseline values (130 +/- 3.8 and 129.6 +/- 4.3 cmH(2)O, respectively). P(Imax) 1' showed a significantly greater decrease after R-C versus C-R (111.2 +/- 5.5 cmH(2)O vs 121.2 +/- 3.9 cmH(2O), respectively, P < 0.001). Tlim after C-R (3.3 +/- 0.3 min) and R-C (2.1 +/- 0.3 min) decreased significantly compared with baseline values (4.19 +/- 0.3 min and 4.02 +/- 0.3 min, respectively). However, the Tlim decrease after R-C was significantly greater than after C-R (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: We concluded that respiratory muscle strength and endurance were less decreased after the cycle-run succession and that cycling induced a greater decrease in respiratory muscle endurance than running.