Document Detail

Endurance exercise performance: the physiology of champions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17901124     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Efforts to understand human physiology through the study of champion athletes and record performances have been ongoing for about a century. For endurance sports three main factors--maximal oxygen consumption (.VO(2,max)), the so-called 'lactate threshold' and efficiency (i.e. the oxygen cost to generate a given running speed or cycling power output)--appear to play key roles in endurance performance. and lactate threshold interact to determine the 'performance .VO(2)' which is the oxygen consumption that can be sustained for a given period of time. Efficiency interacts with the performance .VO(2) to establish the speed or power that can be generated at this oxygen consumption. This review focuses on what is currently known about how these factors interact, their utility as predictors of elite performance, and areas where there is relatively less information to guide current thinking. In this context, definitive ideas about the physiological determinants of running and cycling efficiency is relatively lacking in comparison with .VO(2,max) and the lactate threshold, and there is surprisingly limited and clear information about the genetic factors that might pre-dispose for elite performance. It should also be cautioned that complex motivational and sociological factors also play important roles in who does or does not become a champion and these factors go far beyond simple physiological explanations. Therefore, the performance of elite athletes is likely to defy the types of easy explanations sought by scientific reductionism and remain an important puzzle for those interested in physiological integration well into the future.
Michael J Joyner; Edward F Coyle
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2007-09-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of physiology     Volume:  586     ISSN:  0022-3751     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Physiol. (Lond.)     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-01-02     Completed Date:  2008-05-19     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0266262     Medline TA:  J Physiol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  35-44     Citation Subset:  IM    
Departments of Anaesthesiology and Physiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Athletic Performance / physiology*
Energy Metabolism / physiology
Exercise / physiology*
Lactates / metabolism
Oxygen Consumption / physiology
Physical Endurance / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:

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