The influence of blood removal on pacing during a 4-minute cycling time trial

Document Type

Journal Article


Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.


School of Medical and Health Sciences


Originally published as : Lawler, N. G., Abbiss, C. R., Raman, A., Fairchild, T. J., Maker, G. L., Trengove, R. D., & Peiffer, J. J. (2017). Blood Removal Influences Pacing During a 4-Minute Cycling Time Trial. International journal of sports physiology and performance, 12 (8), 1085-1092. Article can be found here



To examine the influence of manipulating aerobic contribution after whole-blood removal on pacing patterns, performance, and energy contribution during self-paced middle-distance cycling.


Seven male cyclists (33 ± 8 y) completed an incremental cycling test followed 20 min later by a 4-min self-paced cycling time trial (4MMP) on 6 separate occasions over 42 d. The initial 2 sessions acted as familiarization and baseline testing, after which 470 mL of blood was removed, with the remaining sessions performed 24 h, 7 d, 21 d, and 42 d after blood removal. During all 4MMP trials, power output, oxygen uptake, and aerobic and anaerobic contribution to power were determined.


4MMP average power output significantly decreased by 7% ± 6%, 6% ± 8%, and 4% ± 6% at 24 h, 7 d, and 21 d after blood removal, respectively. Compared with baseline, aerobic contribution during the 4MMP was significantly reduced by 5% ± 4%, 4% ± 5%, and 4% ± 10% at 24 h, 7 d, and 21 d, respectively. The rate of decline in power output on commencement of the 4MMP was significantly attenuated and was 76% ± 20%, 72% ± 24%, and 75% ± 35% lower than baseline at 24 h, 21 d, and 42 d, respectively.


Removal of 470 mL of blood reduces aerobic energy contribution, alters pacing patterns, and decreases performance during self-paced cycling. These findings indicate the importance of aerobic energy distribution during self-paced middle-distance events.