The influence of pacing strategy on VO2 and supramaximal kayak performance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jun;34(6):1041-7. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200206000-00022.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of manipulating pacing strategy on VO2 and kayak ergometer performance in well-trained paddlers.

Methods: Eight well-trained kayak paddlers (500-m time = 115-125 s) first performed a graded exercise test for determination of VO2max and lactate (La-) parameters. On subsequent days and in a random, counterbalanced order, subjects performed a 2-min, kayak ergometer test using either an all-out start or even pacing strategy.

Results: There was a significantly greater peak power (747.6 +/- 152.0 vs 558.3 +/- 110.1 W) and average power (348.5 +/- 47.6 vs 335.5 +/- 44.8 W) using the all-out start strategy, when compared with the even-paced strategy. There was however, no significant difference between the two pacing strategies for peak VO2, accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD), peak [La-], or posttest pH. Using the all-out start, total VO2 was significantly greater (7.3 +/- 0.8 vs 6.9 +/- 0.8 L).

Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that 2-min kayak ergometer performance is significantly greater following an all-out start strategy when compared with an even-paced strategy. The improved performance appears to be attributable to faster VO2 kinetics, without a significant change in the total AOD (although the AOD distribution was altered).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis*


  • Lactic Acid
  • Oxygen