Impairment of 3000-m run time at altitude is influenced by arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation.

Robert F. Chapman, Joel M. Stager, David A. Tanner, James Stray-Gundersen, Benjamind D. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The decline in maximal oxygen uptake (ΔVO(2)max) with acute exposure to moderate altitude is dependent on the ability to maintain arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation (SaO2). This study examined if factors related to ΔVO(2)max at altitude are also related to the decline in race performance of elite athletes at altitude. Twenty-seven elite distance runners (18 men and 9 women, VO(2)max = 71.8 ± 7.2 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) performed a treadmill exercise at a constant speed that simulated their 3000-m race pace, both in normoxia and in 16.3% O2 (∼2100 m). Separate 3000-m time trials were completed at sea level (18 h before altitude exposure) and at 2100 m (48 h after arrival at altitude). Statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. Group 3000-m performance was significantly slower at altitude versus sea level (48.5 ± 12.7 s), and the declines were significant in men (48.4 ± 14.6 s) and women (48.6 ± 8.9 s). Athletes grouped by low SaO2 during race pace in normoxia (SaO2 < 91%, n = 7) had a significantly larger ΔVO(2) in hypoxia (-9.2 ± 2.1 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) and Δ3000-m time at altitude (54.0 ± 13.7 s) compared with athletes with high SaO2 in normoxia (SaO2 > 93%, n = 7, ΔVO(2) = -3.5 ± 2.0 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), Δ3000-m time = 38.9 ± 9.7 s). For all athletes, SaO2 during normoxic race pace running was significantly correlated with both ΔVO(2) (r = -0.68) and Δ3000-m time (r = -0.38). These results indicate that the degree of arterial oxyhemoglobin desaturation, already known to influence ΔVO(2)max at altitude, also contributes to the magnitude of decline in race performance at altitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1649-1656
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume43
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

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Oxyhemoglobins
Athletes
Oceans and Seas
Running
Exercise
Oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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Impairment of 3000-m run time at altitude is influenced by arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation. / Chapman, Robert F.; Stager, Joel M.; Tanner, David A.; Stray-Gundersen, James; Levine, Benjamind D.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 43, No. 9, 09.2011, p. 1649-1656.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chapman, Robert F. ; Stager, Joel M. ; Tanner, David A. ; Stray-Gundersen, James ; Levine, Benjamind D. / Impairment of 3000-m run time at altitude is influenced by arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011 ; Vol. 43, No. 9. pp. 1649-1656.
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abstract = "The decline in maximal oxygen uptake (ΔVO(2)max) with acute exposure to moderate altitude is dependent on the ability to maintain arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation (SaO2). This study examined if factors related to ΔVO(2)max at altitude are also related to the decline in race performance of elite athletes at altitude. Twenty-seven elite distance runners (18 men and 9 women, VO(2)max = 71.8 ± 7.2 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) performed a treadmill exercise at a constant speed that simulated their 3000-m race pace, both in normoxia and in 16.3{\%} O2 (∼2100 m). Separate 3000-m time trials were completed at sea level (18 h before altitude exposure) and at 2100 m (48 h after arrival at altitude). Statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. Group 3000-m performance was significantly slower at altitude versus sea level (48.5 ± 12.7 s), and the declines were significant in men (48.4 ± 14.6 s) and women (48.6 ± 8.9 s). Athletes grouped by low SaO2 during race pace in normoxia (SaO2 < 91{\%}, n = 7) had a significantly larger ΔVO(2) in hypoxia (-9.2 ± 2.1 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) and Δ3000-m time at altitude (54.0 ± 13.7 s) compared with athletes with high SaO2 in normoxia (SaO2 > 93{\%}, n = 7, ΔVO(2) = -3.5 ± 2.0 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), Δ3000-m time = 38.9 ± 9.7 s). For all athletes, SaO2 during normoxic race pace running was significantly correlated with both ΔVO(2) (r = -0.68) and Δ3000-m time (r = -0.38). These results indicate that the degree of arterial oxyhemoglobin desaturation, already known to influence ΔVO(2)max at altitude, also contributes to the magnitude of decline in race performance at altitude.",
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