Athletic Performance and Recovery-Stress Factors in Cycling: An Ever Changing Balance

Edson, Filho orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8548-4651, Selenia, Di Fronso, Fabio, Forzini, Mauro, Murgia, Tiziano, Agostini, Laura, Bortoli, Claudio, Robazza and Maurizio, Bertollo (2015) Athletic Performance and Recovery-Stress Factors in Cycling: An Ever Changing Balance. European Journal of Sport Science, 15 (8). pp. 671-680. ISSN 1746-1391

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We sought to examine whether the relationship between recovery-stress factors and performance would differ at the beginning (Stage 1) and the end (Final Stage) of a multi-stage cycling competition. Sixty-seven cyclists with a mean age of 21.90 years (SD = 1.60) and extensive international experience participated in the study. The cyclists responded to the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport) and rated their performance (1 = extremely poor to 10 = excellent) in respect to the first and last stage. Two step-down multiple regression models were used to estimate the relationship among recovery (nine factors; e.g., Physical Recovery, Sleep Quality) and stress factors (10 factors; e.g., Lack of Energy, Physical Complaints), as assessed by the RESTQ and in relation to performance. Model-1 pertained to Stage 1, whereas Model-2 used data from the Final Stage. The final Model-1 revealed that Physical Recovery (β = .46, p = .01), Injury (β = -.31, p = .01) and General Well-being (β = -.26, p = .04) predicted performance in Stage 1 (R2 = .21). The final Model-2 revealed a different relationship between recovery-stress factors and performance. Specifically, being a climber (β = .28, p = .01), Conflicts/Pressure (β = .33, p = .01), and Lack of Energy (β = -.37, p = .01) were associated with performance at the Final Stage (R2 = .19). Collectively, these results suggest that the relationship among recovery and stress factors changes greatly over a relatively short period of time, and dynamically influences performance in multi-stage competitions.

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