Pacing pattern in a 30-minute maximal cycling test

Morgan E. Chaffin, Kris Berg, Jorge Zuniga, Vidya Sagar Hanumanthu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Chaffin, ME, Berg, K, Zuniga, J, and Hanumanthu, VS. Pacing pattern in a 30-minute maximal cycling test. J Strength Cond Res 22(6): 2011-2017, 2008-The purpose of this study was to investigate the pacing pattern and associated physiological effects in competitive cyclists who performed a 30-minute maximal cycling test. Measurements included oxygen uptake (V̇o2), heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration (BLC), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and work rate in watts. Twelve well-trained amateur cyclists (seven men and five women) whose mean age was 32.4 ± 8.6 years participated in this study. They performed a 30-minute self-paced maximal cycling test using their own performance road bike attached to a CompuTrainer Pro, which allowed the assessment of work rate (W). During the test, work rate, V̇o2, and HR were measured every 30 seconds. Subjects' BLC and RPE were obtained every 5 minutes. Results indicate that no significant differences existed across three 10-minute periods for work rate, HR, or V̇o2. However, RPE at 30 minutes was significantly greater than RPE at 10 and 20 minutes (both p < 0.05). The RPE at 20 minutes was also greater than the RPE at 10 minutes (p < 0.01). Work rate remained relatively constant, with minimal fluctuations occurring throughout the test except for a surge during the final 30 seconds of the test. The associated V̇o2 was fairly constant over time, whereas HR rose linearly and gradually. It was concluded that pacing in a 30-minute maximal exercise bout performed in the laboratory in experienced cyclists varies minimally until the last 30 seconds. Knowledge of pacing strategy and the linked physiological responses may be helpful to exercise scientists in optimizing performance in the endurance athlete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2011-2017
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Cardiovascular drift
  • Cycling
  • Endurance performance
  • Work rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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