Variables associated with odds of finishing and finish time in a 161-km ultramarathon

Department of Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University, P. O. Box 980032, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
Arbeitsphysiologie (Impact Factor: 2.19). 01/2011; 111(1):145-53. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1633-1
Source: PubMed


We sought to determine the degree to which age, sex, calendar year, previous event experience and ambient race day temperature were associated with finishing a 100-mile (161-km) trail running race and with finish time in that race. We computed separate generalized linear mixed-effects regression models for (1) odds of finishing and (2) finish times of finishers. Every starter from 1986 to 2007 was used in computing the models for odds of finishing (8,282 starts by 3,956 individuals) and every finisher in the same period was included in the models for finish time (5,276 finishes). Factors associated with improved odds of finishing included being a first-time starter and advancing calendar year. Factors associated with reduced odds of finishing included advancing age above 38 years and warmer weather. Beyond 38 years of age, women had worse odds of finishing than men. Warmer weather had a similar effect on finish rates for men and women. Finish times were slower with advancing age, slower for women than men, and less affected by warm weather for women than for men. Calendar year was not associated with finish time after adjustment for other variables.

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    • "It is abundantly clear that aerobic exercise performance is impaired in the heat. For instance, exercise performance is inversely related to ambient temperature within a given competition (Ely et al., 2007a,b, 2008; Vihma, 2010; Wegelin & Hoffman, 2011). These findings have been confirmed in laboratory studies that have demonstrated that fixed work rate exercise time to exhaustion is also reduced in a hot environment (MacDougall et al., 1974; Galloway & Maughan, 1997; Gonzalez-Alonso et al., 1999; Parkin et al., 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: The human capacity to perform prolonged exercise is impaired in hot environments. To address this issue, a number of studies have investigated behavioral aspects of thermoregulation that are recognized as important factors in determining performance. In this review, we evaluated and interpreted the available knowledge regarding the voluntary control of exercise work rate in hot environments. Our analysis indicated that: (a) Voluntary reductions in exercise work rate in uncompensable heat aid thermoregulation and are, therefore, thermoregulatory behaviors. (b) Unlike thermal behavior during rest, the role of thermal comfort as the ultimate mediator of thermal behavior during exercise in the heat remains uncertain. By contrast, the rating of perceived exertion appears to be the key perceptual controller under such conditions, with thermal perception playing a more modulatory role. (c) Prior to increases in core temperature (when only skin temperature is elevated), reductions in self-selected exercise work rate in the heat are likely mediated by thermal perception (thermal comfort and sensation) and its influence on the rating of perceived exertion. (d) However, when both core and skin temperatures are elevated, factors associated with cardiovascular strain likely dictate the rate of perceived exertion response, thereby mediating such voluntary reductions in exercise work rate. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 06/2015; 25 Suppl 1(S1):52-64. DOI:10.1111/sms.12349 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    • "Limitations of this study are that aspects such as training of the subjects,63,64 previous experience,63 anthropometric characteristics,36,64 age,34,65,66 nutrition,67 pacing strategy,68 nationality,69,70 and environmental conditions71 were not considered. These characteristics might have had an influence on the performance of the athletes. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated changes in performance and sex difference in top performers for ultra-triathlon races held between 1978 and 2013 from Ironman (3.8 km swim, 180 km cycle, and 42 km run) to double deca iron ultra-triathlon distance (76 km swim, 3,600 km cycle, and 844 km run). The fastest men ever were faster than the fastest women ever for split and overall race times, with the exception of the swimming split in the quintuple iron ultra-triathlon (19 km swim, 900 km cycle, and 210.1 km run). Correlation analyses showed an increase in sex difference with increasing length of race distance for swimming (r (2)=0.67, P=0.023), running (r (2)=0.77, P=0.009), and overall race time (r (2)=0.77, P=0.0087), but not for cycling (r (2)=0.26, P=0.23). For the annual top performers, split and overall race times decreased across years nonlinearly in female and male Ironman triathletes. For longer distances, cycling split times decreased linearly in male triple iron ultra-triathletes, and running split times decreased linearly in male double iron ultra-triathletes but increased linearly in female triple and quintuple iron ultra-triathletes. Overall race times increased nonlinearly in female triple and male quintuple iron ultra-triathletes. The sex difference decreased nonlinearly in swimming, running, and overall race time in Ironman triathletes but increased linearly in cycling and running and nonlinearly in overall race time in triple iron ultra-triathletes. These findings suggest that women reduced the sex difference nonlinearly in shorter ultra-triathlon distances (ie, Ironman), but for longer distances than the Ironman, the sex difference increased or remained unchanged across years. It seems very unlikely that female top performers will ever outrun male top performers in ultratriathlons. The nonlinear change in speed and sex difference in Ironman triathlon suggests that female and male Ironman triathletes have reached their limits in performance.
    Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine 06/2014; 5:159-172. DOI:10.2147/OAJSM.S65977
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    • "In this study, we included the daily highest and the daily lowest air temperatures as co-variables to investigate a potential influence of environmental temperatures on performance since it has been reported for both runners [37,38] and cyclists [30,36] that air temperature has an influence on performance. However, performance and sex difference in performance was not influenced. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The purpose of this study was to examine the sex and age-related differences in performance in a draft-legal ultra-cycling event. Methods Age-related changes in performance across years were investigated in the 24-hour draft-legal cycling event held in Schotz, Switzerland, between 2000 and 2011 using multi-level regression analyses including age, repeated participation and environmental temperatures as co-variables. Results For all finishers, the age of peak cycling performance decreased significantly (Ss = -0.273, p = 0.036) from 38 +/- 10 to 35 +/- 6 years in females but remained unchanged (Ss = -0.035, p = 0.906) at 41.0 +/- 10.3 years in males. For the annual fastest females and males, the age of peak cycling performance remained unchanged at 37.3 +/- 8.5 and 38.3 +/- 5.4 years, respectively. For all female and male finishers, males improved significantly (Ss = 7.010, p = 0.006) the cycling distance from 497.8 +/- 219.6 km to 546.7 +/- 205.0 km whereas females (Ss = -0.085, p = 0.987) showed an unchanged performance of 593.7 +/- 132.3 km. The mean cycling distance achieved by the male winners of 960.5 +/- 51.9 km was significantly (p < 0.001) greater than the distance covered by the female winners with 769.7 +/- 65.7 km but was not different between the sexes (p > 0.05). The sex difference in performance for the annual winners of 19.7 +/- 7.8% remained unchanged across years (p > 0.05). The achieved cycling distance decreased in a curvilinear manner with advancing age. There was a significant age effect (F = 28.4, p < 0.0001) for cycling performance where the fastest cyclists were in age group 35-39 years. Conclusion In this 24-h cycling draft-legal event, performance in females remained unchanged while their age of peak cycling performance decreased and performance in males improved while their age of peak cycling performance remained unchanged. The annual fastest females and males were 37.3 +/- 8.5 and 38.3 +/- 5.4 years old, respectively. The sex difference for the fastest finishers was ~20%. It seems that women were not able to profit from drafting to improve their ultra-cycling performance.
    05/2014; 6(1):19. DOI:10.1186/2052-1847-6-19
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