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Sprint performance under heat stress: A review

Girard, O., Brocherie, F. and Bishop, D.J. (2015) Sprint performance under heat stress: A review. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 25 . pp. 79-89.

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Training and competition in major track‐and‐field events, and for many team or racquet sports, often require the completion of maximal sprints in hot (>30 °C) ambient conditions. Enhanced short‐term (<30 s) power output or single‐sprint performance, resulting from transient heat exposure (muscle temperature rise), can be attributed to improved muscle contractility. Under heat stress, elevations in skin/core temperatures are associated with increased cardiovascular and metabolic loads in addition to decreasing voluntary muscle activation; there is also compelling evidence to suggest that large performance decrements occur when repeated‐sprint exercise (consisting of brief recovery periods between sprints, usually <60 s) is performed in hot compared with cool conditions. Conversely, poorer intermittent‐sprint performance (recovery periods long enough to allow near complete recovery, usually 60–300 s) in hotter conditions is solely observed when exercise induces marked hyperthermia (core temperature >39 °C). Here we also discuss strategies (heat acclimatization, precooling, hydration strategies) employed by “sprint” athletes to mitigate the negative influence of higher environmental temperatures.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S
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