A fast-start pacing strategy speeds pulmonary oxygen uptake kinetics and improves supramaximal running performance

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 31;9(10):e111621. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111621. eCollection 2014.


The focus of the present study was to investigate the effects of a fast-start pacing strategy on running performance and pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO2) kinetics at the upper boundary of the severe-intensity domain. Eleven active male participants (28±10 years, 70±5 kg, 176±6 cm, 57±4 mL/kg/min) visited the laboratory for a series of tests that were performed until exhaustion: 1) an incremental test; 2) three laboratory test sessions performed at 95, 100 and 110% of the maximal aerobic speed; 3) two to four constant speed tests for the determination of the highest constant speed (HS) that still allowed achieving maximal oxygen uptake; and 4) an exercise based on the HS using a higher initial speed followed by a subsequent decrease. To predict equalized performance values for the constant pace, the relationship between time and distance/speed through log-log modelling was used. When a fast-start was utilized, subjects were able to cover a greater distance in a performance of similar duration in comparison with a constant-pace performance (constant pace: 670 m±22%; fast-start: 683 m±22%; P = 0.029); subjects also demonstrated a higher exercise tolerance at a similar average speed when compared with constant-pace performance (constant pace: 114 s±30%; fast-start: 125 s±26%; P = 0.037). Moreover, the mean VO2 response time was reduced after a fast start (constant pace: 22.2 s±28%; fast-start: 19.3 s±29%; P = 0.025). In conclusion, middle-distance running performances with a duration of 2-3 min are improved and VO2 response time is faster when a fast-start is adopted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Male
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Running / physiology*


  • Oxygen

Grant support

This project was supported by National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Website: (www.cnpq.br). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.