What processes will help to maintain acid-base balance during the race?

You are a junior sports physiologist, working as part of a team in a laboratory that provides sports science support to athletes. An elite 5,000 m track runner has come to the lab to speak to the head of sports physiology. In general, the athlete wants to know more about what happens to his body when he is competing. His current personal best is 14 min 40 sec (a pace of 20.45 km/h). The head physiologist interviews him to find out more and, afterwards, distributes questions to the rest of the team.

Specifically, the head physiologist asks you the following questions, which you need to answer as scientifically as possible. You should use references (books and journal articles) to support your answers:

1. Describe what the athlete’s different energy systems will be doing during the 5,000 m race? Explain your answer (20 marks).
2. What energy system will provide the largest contribution to 5,000 m performance and why? (10 marks)
3. What processes will help to maintain acid-base balance during the race? (20 marks)
4. If the athlete was to start the race in a dehydrated state, what effect would this have on his cardiovascular system and would this affect his 5,000 m performance? (20 marks)
5. If the athlete was to attempt to perform a 50 m sprint for the line at the end of the race, what muscle fibres would he rely on and why? (15 marks)
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