Infuence of temperature and performance level on pacing a 161 km trail ultramarathon
ABSTRACT Even pacing has been recommended for optimal performances in running distances up to 100 km. Trail ultramarathons traverse varied terrain, which does not allow for even pacing.
This study examined differences in how runners of various abilities paced their efforts in the Western States Endurance Run (WSER), a 161 km trail ultramarathon in North America, under hot vs cooler temperatures.
Temperatures in 2006 (hot) and 2007 (cooler) ranged from 7-38°C and 2-30°C, respectively. Arrival times at 13 checkpoints were recorded for 50 runners who finished the race in both years. After stratification into three groups based on finish time in 2007 (<22, 22-24, 24-30 h), paired t tests were used to compare the difference in pace across checkpoints between the years within each group. The χ2 test was used to compare differences between the groups on the number of segments run slower in the hot vs cooler years.
For all groups, mean pace across the entire 161 km race was slower in 2006 than in 2007 (9:23 ± 1:13 min/km vs 8:42 ± 1:15 min/km, P < .001) and the pace was slower from the start of the race when temperatures were still relatively cool. Overall, the <22 h cohort ran slower in 2006 than 2007 over 12 of the 14 segments examined, the 22-24 h cohort was slower across 10 of the segments, and the >24 h cohort was slower across only 6 of the segments χ(2)2 = 6.00, P = .050). Comparable pacing between the 2 y corresponded with onset of nighttime and cooling temperatures.
Extreme heat impairs all runners' ability to perform in 161 km ultramarathons, but faster runners are at a greater disadvantage compared with slower competitors because they complete a greater proportion of the race in the hotter conditions.
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ABSTRACT: To determine if food and fluid intake is related to completion of a 161-km ultramarathon. Sixteen consenting runners in the Western States Endurance Run participated in the study. Race diets were analyzed using Nutritionist Pro software. Both total intake and intake by race segment (3 total) were evaluated. Six of 16 subjects completed the race (finishers) in 27.0 ± 2.3 hours (mean ± SD). Non-finishers completed 96.5 ± 20.5 km in 17.0 ± 3.9 h. Overall consumption rates of kilocalories, carbohydrate, fat, and sodium were significantly greater (P < 0.05) in finishers (4.6 ± 1.7 kcal/kg/h, 0.98 ± 0.43 g carbohydrate/kg/h, 0.06 ± 0.03 g fat/kg/h, 10.2 ± 6.0 mg sodium/kg/h) versus non-finishers (2.5 ± 1.3 kcal/kg/h, 0.56 ± 0.32 g carbohydrate/kg/h, 0.02 ± 0.02 g fat/kg/h, 5.2 ± 3.0 mg sodium/kg/h). Kilocalorie, fat, fluid, and sodium consumption rates during segment 1 (first 48 km) were significantly greater in finishers than in non-finishers. Completion of this 161-km race was related to greater fuel, fluid, and sodium consumption rates. However, intake ranges for the finishers were large, so factors other than race diet may have contributed to the successful completion of the race.Journal of the American College of Nutrition 12/2011; 30(6):529-35. DOI:10.1080/07315724.2011.10719999 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several recent investigations showed that the best marathon time of an individual athlete is also a strong predictor variable for the race time in a 100-km ultra-marathon. We investigated similarities and differences in anthropometry and training characteristics between 166 100-km ultra-marathoners and 126 marathoners in recreational male athletes. The association of anthropometric variables and training characteristics with race time was assessed by using bi- and multi-variate analysis. Regarding anthropometry, the marathoners had a significantly lower calf circumference (P < 0.05) and a significantly thicker skinfold at pectoral (P < 0.01), axilla (P < 0.05), and suprailiacal sites (P < 0.05) compared to the ultra-marathoners. Considering training characteristics, the marathoners completed significantly fewer hours (P < 0.001) and significantly fewer kilometres (P < 0.001) during the week, but they were running significantly faster during training (P < 0.001). The multi-variate analysis showed that age (P < 0.0001), body mass (P = 0.011), and percent body fat (P = 0.019) were positively and weekly running kilometres (P < 0.0001) were negatively related to 100-km race times in the ultra-marathoners. In the marathoners, percent body fat (P = 0.002) was positively and speed in running training (P < 0.0001) was negatively associated with marathon race times. In conclusion, these data suggest that performance in both marathoners and 100-km ultra-marathoners is inversely related to body fat. Moreover, marathoners rely more on speed in running during training whereas ultra-marathoners rely on volume in running training.Journal of Sports Sciences 06/2012; 30(12):1249-57. DOI:10.1080/02640414.2012.697182 · 2.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aims of the present study were to investigate (i) the changes in participation and performance and (ii) the gender difference in Triple Iron ultra-triathlon (11.4 km swimming, 540 km cycling and 126.6 km running) across years from 1988 to 2011. For the cross-sectional data analysis, the association between with overall race times and split times was investigated using simple linear regression analyses and analysis of variance. For the longitudinal data analysis, the changes in race times for the five men and women with the highest number of participations were analysed using simple linear regression analyses. During the studied period, the number of finishers were 824 (71.4%) for men and 80 (78.4%) for women. Participation increased for men (r(2)=0.27, P<0.01) while it remained stable for women (8%). Total race times were 2,146 ± 127.3 min for men and 2,615 ± 327.2 min for women (P<0.001). Total race time decreased for men (r(2)=0.17; P=0.043), while it increased for women (r(2)=0.49; P=0.001) across years. The gender difference in overall race time for winners increased from 10% in 1992 to 42% in 2011 (r(2)=0.63; P<0.001). The longitudinal analysis of the five women and five men with the highest number of participations showed that performance decreased in one female (r(2)=0.45; P=0.01). The four other women as well as all five men showed no change in overall race times across years. Participation increased and performance improved for male Triple Iron ultra-triathletes while participation remained unchanged and performance decreased for females between 1988 and 2011. The reasons for the increase of the gap between female and male Triple Iron ultra-triathletes need further investigations.09/2012; 3(3):145-52. DOI:10.5167/uzh-64893