• blood pressure;
  • pressure waves;
  • radial tonometry;
  • adaptation;
  • physiological

During recovery from a maximal or submaximal aerobic exercise, augmentation of central (aortic) systolic pressure by reflected pressure waves is blunted in healthy humans. However, the extent to which reflected pressure waves modify the central pulse in diastole in these conditions remains unknown. We evaluated systolic and diastolic central reflected waves in 11 endurance-trained athletes on recovery from a maximal running test on a treadmill (treadmill-max) and a 4000 m run in field conditions. On both occasions in each subject, the radial pulse was recorded with applanation tonometry in the resting preexercise state and then 5, 15, 25, 35, and 45 min after exercise termination. From the central waveform, as reconstructed by application of a generalized transfer function, we computed a systolic (AIx) and a diastolic index (AId) of pressure augmentation by reflections. At 5 min, both indices were below preexercise. At further time-points, AIx remained low, while AId progressively increased, to overshoot above preexercise at 45 min. The same behavior was observed with both exercise types. Beyond the first few minutes of recovery following either maximal or submaximal aerobic exercise, reflected waves selectively augment the central pressure pulse in diastole, at least in endurance-trained athletes.