Factors Affecting Performance Essay

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Factors affecting performance Question 1 “Discuss the energy systems used at various points throughout the race (4 marks)” An Olympic triathlon has 3 components: 1500m Swim, 40km bike and a 10km run. Within each of these components the 3 energy systems are used differently according to the specifics of that section of the race. The major system used in an Olympic Triathlon is the Aerobic system, however the ATP/PC and Lactic acid systems are still used but to a smaller extent. * ATP/PC System (Anaerobic Alactic) ATP is an energy rich chemical compound which serves as an immediate source of energy. It is made up of adenosine triphosphate (stores and transfers energy into body cells, allowing muscle contraction). It releases massive amounts of energy when the bond is broken to form ADP + P. This system is limited to bursts of high intensity work less than 10 seconds in duration. Recovery from this effort is usually less than one minute. This is system is therefore used at the start of the race, while initiating a transition between activities, starting a passing effort, picking up speed or changing directions quickly (E.g. a U turn on a run trail or tight turns around a swim marker). * Lactic Acid System (Anaerobic – without oxygen) Following the exhaustion of the Alactic system fuel is still needed. The anaerobic lactic system is used for medium to high intensity bursts of effort that last between 10 seconds and 2 minutes. Lactic acid is produced as a by-product of anaerobic glycolysis (breakdown of glucose in the absence of oxygen to produce energy). Due to the lactic acid that is produced when using this energy system, athletes will experience a burning sensation in their muscles which accompanies a shortness of breath due to the lack of oxygen in the muscles. It usually takes 5-10 minutes to recover from this type of effort. This energy system is
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