Determination of the speed-time relationship during handcycling in spinal cord injured athletes

Diego Antunes, Eduardo Marcel Fernandes Nascimento, Gary Brickley, Gabriela Fischer, Ricardo Dantas de Lucas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This study aimed to determine the critical speed (CS) and the work above CS (D') from three mathematical models of para-athletes during a treadmill handcycling exercise. Nine hand-cyclists with spinal cord injuries performed a maximal incremental handcycling test and three tests to exhaustion at a constant speed to determine the speed-time relationship. The three tests to exhaustion were performed at intensities between 90% and 105% of peak speed derived from the incremental test. Then, the determination of CS and D' was modelled by linear and hyperbolic models. CS and D' did not present any significant differences among the three mathematical models. Low values in the standard error of estimate for CS were found for the three models (Linear: Distance-time: 1.7 ± 0.5%; Linear: Speed-1/time: 3.0 ± 1.9% and Hyperbolic: 1.2 ± 0.6%). Based on the simplicity to calculate, the CS modelled by linear-distance-time can be a practical method for handcyclist coaches.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    JournalResearch in Sports Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2021


    • Critical speed
    • Paralympic sport
    • handcycling
    • spinal cord injury


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