[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The age-related decline in performance has been investigated in swimmers, runners and triathletes. No study has investigated the age-related performance decline in ultra-triathletes. The purpose of this study was to analyse the age-related declines in swimming, cycling, running and overall race time for both Triple Iron ultra-triathlon (11.4-km swimming, 540-km cycling and 126.6-km running) and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon (38-km swimming, 1,800-km cycling and 420-km running).
The age and performances of 423 male Triple Iron ultra-triathletes and 119 male Deca Iron ultra-triathletes were analysed from 1992 to 2010 using regression analyses and ANOVA.
The mean age of the finishers was significantly higher for Deca Iron ultra-triathletes (41.3 ± 3.1 years) compared to a Triple Iron ultra-triathletes (38.5 ± 3.3 years) (P < 0.05). For both ultra-distances, the fastest overall race times were achieved between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Deca Iron ultra-triathletes achieved the same level of performance in swimming and cycling between 25 and 54 years of age.
The magnitudes of age-related declines in performance in the three disciplines of ultra-triathlon differ slightly between Triple and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon. Although the ages of Triple Iron ultra-triathletes were on average younger compared to Deca Iron ultra-triathletes, the fastest race times were achieved between 25 and 44 years for both distances. Further studies should investigate the motivation and training of ultra-triathletes to gain better insights in ultra-triathlon performance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Participation in endurance running such as half-marathon (21-km) and marathon (42-km) has increased over the last decades. We compared 147 recreational male half-marathoners and 126 recreational male marathoners to investigate similarities or differences in their anthropometric and training characteristics. The half-marathoners were heavier (P < 0.05), had longer legs (P < 0.001), thicker upper arms (P < 0.05), a thicker thigh (P < 0.01), a higher sum of skinfold thicknesses (P < 0.01), a higher body fat percentage (P < 0.05) and a higher skeletal muscle mass (P < 0.05) than the marathoners. They had fewer years of experience (P < 0.05), completed fewer weekly training kilometers (P < 0.001), and fewer weekly running hours (P < 0.01) compared to the marathoners. For halfmarathoners, body mass index (P = 0.011), percent body fat (P = 0.036) and speed in running during training (P < 0.0001) were related to race time (r 2 #61; 0.47). For marathoners, percent body fat (P #61; 0.001) and speed in running during training (P < 0.0001) were associated to race time (r 2 #61; 0.47). When body mass index was excluded for the half-marathoners in the multi-variate analysis, r 2 decreased to 0.45, therefore body mass index explained only 2% of the variance of half-marathon performance. Percent body fat was significantly and negatively related to running speed during training in both groups. To summarize, half-marathoners showed differences in both anthropometry and training characteristics compared to marathoners that could be related to their lower training volume, most probably due to the shorter race distance they intended to compete. Both groups of athletes seemed to profit from low body fat and a high running speed during training for fast race times.
The Chinese journal of physiology 06/2013; 56(3). · 0.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Triathletes lose body mass during an Ironman triathlon. However, the associated body composition changes remain enigmatic. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate Ironman-induced changes in segmental body composition, using for the first time dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). METHODS: Before and after an Ironman triathlon, segmental body composition and lower leg tissue mass, areas and densities were assessed using DXA and pQCT, respectively, in eight non-professional male triathletes. In addition, blood and urine samples were collected for the determination of hydration status. RESULTS: Body mass decreased by 1.9 ± 0.8 kg. This loss was due to 0.4 ± 0.3 and 1.4 ± 0.8 kg decrease in fat and lean mass, respectively (P < 0.01). Calf muscle density was reduced by 1.93 ± 1.04 % (P < 0.01). Hemoglobin, hematocrit, and plasma [K(+)] remained unchanged, while plasma [Na(+)] (P < 0.05), urine specific gravity and plasma and urine osmolality increased (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: The loss in lean mass was explained by a decrease in muscle density, as an indicator of glycogen loss, and increases in several indicators for dehydration. The measurement of body composition with DXA and pQCT before and after an Ironman triathlon provided exact values for the loss in fat and lean mass. Consequently, these results yielded more detailed insights into tissue catabolism during ultra-endurance exercise.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: General participation in contests such as ultra-marathons and ultra-triathlons has increased considerably over the past 30 years, especially among women. This study investigated performance trends in the Swiss Bike Masters, one of the first and most prestigious mountain bike, ultra-endurance races in its class, with comparisons of participation and performance trends to similar races. The development of performance in the Swiss Bike Masters held between 1994 and 2012 was investigated by analysing the number of finishers, their age, sex, and cycling speed. Between 1994 and 2009, the athletes had to cover 120 kilometers with a total difference in altitude of 5,000 meters. Since 2010, the race distance was shortened to 105 kilometers and the total difference in altitude was reduced to 4,400 meters. The total men participating and total finishing decreased significantly, while women's participation has remained low. The age of the annual winners and the annual top three finishers showed no changes over time. Performances of the annual fastest women improved, while performances of the annual fastest men remained unchanged. To summarize, rate of finishing has decreased for men and has been stable, but low, among women. The sex difference in cycling speed for the best cyclists has decreased across the years.
Perceptual and Motor Skills 04/2013; 116(2):640-54. · 0.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been argued that women should be able to outrun men in ultra-endurance distances. The present study investigated the sex difference in overall race times and split times between elite female and male Ironman triathletes competing in Ironman Hawaii (3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling, and 42.195 km running) and Double Iron ultra-triathletes (7.6 km swimming, 360 km cycling, and 84.4 km running). Data from 20,638 athletes, including 5,163 women and 15,475 men competing in Ironman Hawaii and from 143 women and 1,252 men competing in Double Iron ultra-triathlon races held worldwide between 1999 and 2011 were analyzed. In Ironman Hawaii, the sex difference in performance of the top three athletes remained unchanged during the period studied for overall race time. For Double Iron ultra-triathletes, the sex difference for the top three athletes remained unchanged for overall race time. Sex differences increased as endurance race distances increased and showed no changes over time. It appears that women are unlikely to close the gap in ultra-endurance performance with men in ultra-triathlons in the near future. Physiological (e.g., maximum oxygen uptake) and anthropometric characteristics (e.g., skeletal muscle mass) may set biological limits for women.
Perceptual and Motor Skills 04/2013; 116(2):690-706. · 0.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the changes in single skinfold thicknesses and body fat during an ultra-endurance cycling race.
One hundred and nineteen ultra-endurance cyclists in the 'Swiss Cycling Marathon' covering a distance of 600 km were included. Changes in skinfold thickness, fat mass, skeletal muscle mass and total body water were estimated using anthropometric methods.
The subjects were riding at a mean speed of 23.5±4.0 km/h and finished the race within 1,580±296 min. During the race, body mass decreased by 1.5±1.2 kg (P<0.001), and fat mass decreased by 1.5±1.1 kg (P<0.001). Skeletal muscle mass and total body water remained unchanged (P>0.05). The decrease in body mass correlated to the decrease in fat mass (r = 0.20, P=0.03). The skinfold thicknesses at pectoral (-14.7%), abdominal (-14.9%), and thigh (-10.2%) site showed the largest decrease. The decrease in abdominal skinfold was significantly and negatively related to cycling speed during the race (r = -0.31, P<0.001).
Cycling 600 km at ∼23 km/h led to a decrease in fat mass and in all skinfold thicknesses. The largest decrease in skinfold thickness was recorded for pectoral, abdominal, and thigh site. The decrease in abdominal skinfold thickness was negatively related to cycling speed. The body seems to reduce adipose subcutaneous fat during an ultra-endurance performance at the site of the thickest skinfold.
Asian journal of sports medicine. 03/2013; 4(1):15-22.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A personal best marathon time has been reported as a strong predictor variable for an Ironman race time in recreational female Ironman triathletes. This raises the question whether recreational female Ironman triathletes are similar to recreational female marathoners. We investigated similarities and differences in anthropometry and training between 53 recreational female Ironman triathletes and 46 recreational female marathoners. The association of anthropometric variables and training characteristics with race time was investigated using bi- and multi-variate analysis. The Ironman triathletes were younger (P < 0.01), had a lower skin-fold thickness at pectoral (P < 0.001), axillar (P < 0.01), and subscapular (P < 0.05) site, but a thicker skin-fold thickness at the calf site (P < 0.01) compared to the marathoners. Overall weekly training hours were higher in the Ironman triathletes (P < 0.001). The triathletes were running faster during training than the marathoners (P < 0.05). For the triathletes, neither an anthropometric nor a training variable showed an association with overall Ironman race time after bi-variate analysis. In the multi-variate analysis, running speed during training was related to marathon split time for the Ironman triathletes (P = 0.01) and to marathon race time for the marathoners (P = 0.01). To conclude, although personal best marathon time is a strong predictor variable for performance in recreational female Ironman triathletes, there are differences in both anthropometry and training between recreational female Ironman triathletes and recreational female marathoners and different predictor variables for race performance in these two groups of athletes. These findings suggest that recreational female Ironman triathletes are not comparable to recreational female marathoners regarding the association between anthropometric and training characteristics with race time.
The Chinese journal of physiology 02/2013; 56(1):xxx. · 0.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined the sex difference in swimming (7.8 km), cycling (360 km), running (84 km), and overall race times for Double Iron ultra-triathletes.
Sex differences in split times and overall race times of 1,591 men and 155 women finishing a Double Iron ultra-triathlon between 1985 and 2012 were analyzed.
The annual number of finishes increased linearly for women and exponentially for men. Men achieved race times of 1,716 ± 243 min compared to 1,834 ± 261 min for women and were 118 ± 18 min (6.9%) faster (p < 0.01). Men finished swimming within 156 ± 63 min compared to women with 163 ± 31 min and were 8 ± 32 min (5.1 ± 5.0%) faster (p < 0.01). For cycling, men (852 ± 196 min) were 71 ± 70 min (8.3 ± 3.5%) faster than women (923 ± 126 min) (p < 0.01). Men completed the run split within 710 ± 145 min compared to 739 ± 150 min for women and were 30 ± 5 min (4.2 ± 3.4%) faster (p = 0.03). The annual three fastest men improved race time from 1,650 ± 114 min in 1985 to 1,339 ± 33 min in 2012 (p < 0.01). Overall race time for women remained unchanged at 1,593 ± 173 min with an unchanged sex difference of 27.1 ± 8.6%. In swimming, the split times for the annual three fastest women (148 ± 14 min) and men (127 ± 20 min) remained unchanged with an unchanged sex difference of 26.8 ± 13.5%. In cycling, the annual three fastest men improved the split time from 826 ± 60 min to 666 ± 18 min (p = 0.02). For women, the split time in cycling remained unchanged at 844 ± 54 min with an unchanged sex difference of 25.2 ± 7.3%. In running, the annual fastest three men improved split times from 649 ± 77 min to 532 ± 16 min (p < 0.01). For women, however, the split times remained unchanged at 657 ± 70 min with a stable sex difference of 32.4 ± 12.5%.
To summarize, the present findings showed that men were faster than women in Double Iron ultra-triathlon, men improved overall race times, cycling and running split times, and the sex difference remained unchanged across years for overall race time and split times. The sex differences for overall race times and split times were higher than reported for Ironman triathlon.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to compare the trends in participation, performance and age of finishers in 'Badwater' and 'Spartathlon' as two of the toughest ultramarathons in the world of more than 200 km of distance.
Running speed and age of male and female finishers in Badwater and Spartathlon were analyzed from 2000 to 2012. Age of peak performance and sex difference in running speed were investigated during the studied period.
The number of female and male finishes increased in Badwater and Spartathlon. Women accounted on average for 21.5% ± 6.9% in Badwater and 10.8% ± 2.3% in Spartathlon. There was a significant increase in female participation in Badwater from 18.4% to 19.1% (p < 0.01) and in Spartathlon from 11.9% to 12.5% (p = 0.02). In men, the age of finishers was higher in Badwater (46.5 ± 9.3 years) compared to Spartathlon (44.8 ± 8.2 years) (p < 0.01). The age of female finishers of both races was similar with 43.0 ± 7.5 years in Badwater and 44.5 ± 7.8 years in Spartathlon (p > 0.05). Over the years, the age of the annual five fastest men decreased in Badwater from 42.4 ± 4.2 to 39.8 ± 5.7 years (p < 0.05). For women, the age remained unchanged at 42.3 ± 3.8 years in Badwater (p > 0.05). In Spartathlon, the age was unchanged at 39.7 ± 2.4 years for men and 44.6 ± 3.2 years for women (p > 0.05). In Badwater, women and men became faster over the years. The running speed increased from 7.9 ± 0.7 to 8.7 ± 0.6 km/h (p < 0.01) in men and from 5.4 ± 1.1 to 6.6 ± 0.5 km/h (p < 0.01) in women. The sex difference in running speed remained unchanged at 19.8% ± 4.8% (p > 0.05). In Spartathlon, the running speed was stable over time at 10.8 ± 0.7 km/h for men and 8.7 ± 0.5 km/h for women (p > 0.05). The sex difference remained unchanged at 19.6% ± 2.5% (p > 0.05).
These results suggest that for both Badwater and Spartathlon, (a) female participation increased, (b) the fastest finishers were approximately 40 to 45 years, and (c) the sex difference was at approximately 20%. Women will not outrun men in both Badwater and Spartathlon races. Master ultramarathoners can achieve a high level of performance in ultramarathons greater than 200 km under extreme conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Triathlon, in particular the ‘Ironman’ distance, has become very popular in the field of ultra-endurance sports. The aim of the present study was to analyse the participation and performances at the ‘Ironman Switzerland’ in Zurich, Switzerland, regarding the nationality of the participants. Nationalities and performances of 21,399 athletes, originating from exactly 100 countries and competing between 1995 and 2011, were analysed. The mean total race times and changes across the years of the top ten athletes overall and of each country for both women and men triathletes were analysed using linear regression analyses. In total, 90% of the participants in ‘Ironman Switzerland’ originated from European countries, with triathletes from Switzerland (31.9%) and Germany (18.9%) presenting the majority, followed by participants from Great Britain (11.2%), France (7.9%), Italy (5.3%), USA (4.7%), Spain (3.5%), Belgium (2.7%) and Austria (2.6%). Switzerland presented the fastest triathletes in both sexes followed by athletes from Germany. Behind these two leading nations, triathletes from countries such as France, Belgium, Austria, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and USA competed slower. To summarize, ‘Ironman Switzerland’ has been dominated by central European triathletes regarding participation and performance. Most of the participants and the fastest finishers came from Switzerland, followed by triathletes from Germany. To assess these results, future studies need to investigate the leading nations in ‘Ironman’ qualifying races all over the world for ‘Ironman Hawaii’ and in the ‘Ironman World Championship’ in Hawaii.
Journal of Science and Cycling. 12/2012; 1(2):10-20.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between skeletal muscle mass, body fat and training characteristics with running times in master athletes (age > 35 years) in half-marathon, marathon and ultra-marathon.
We compared skeletal muscle mass, body fat and training characteristics in master half-marathoners (n=103), master marathoners (n=91) and master ultra-marathoners (n=155) and investigated associations between body composition and training characteristics with race times using bi- and multi-variate analyses.
After multi-variate analysis, body fat was related to half-marathon (β=0.9, P=0.0003), marathon (β=2.2, P<0.0001), and ultra-marathon (β=10.5, P<0.0001) race times. In master half-marathoners (β=-4.3, P<0.0001) and master marathoners (β=-11.9, P<0.0001), speed during training was related to race times. In master ultra-marathoners, however, weekly running kilometers (β=-1.6, P<0.0001) were related to running times.
To summarize, body fat and training characteristics, not skeletal muscle mass, were associated with running times in master half-marathoners, master marathoners, and master ultra-marathoners. Master half-marathoners and master marathoners rather rely on a high running speed during training whereas master ultra-marathoners rely on a high running volume during training. The common opinion that skeletal muscle mass affects running performance in master runners needs to be questioned.
Asian journal of sports medicine. 12/2012; 3(4):247-56.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Body Mass Index is associated with endurance performance in athletes. Reported and measured values of body mass and body height in 1,618 endurance athletes (1,358 men, 260 women) showed that men and women both underestimated their body mass and overestimated their body height, leading to an underestimation of Body Mass Index. There were age and sex differences in estimates of height and weight; for both women and men, underestimation of Body Mass Index amounted to 0.4 kg/m2. Master athletes tended to underestimate their body mass and overestimate their body height thus leading to significant differences between estimated and measured Body Mass Index. However, the magnitude of underestimation of BMI probably has a negligible influence on performance predictions. The differences between measured and estimated body mass, height, and BMI were within the range of normal daily variation, and for body height even within the precision of the measurement (0.5 cm).
Perceptual and Motor Skills 12/2012; 115(3):833-44. · 0.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of the study were to  investigate the performance trends at the 'Zurich 12-h Swim' in Switzerland from 1996 to 2010; and  determine the gender difference in peak performance in ultraendurance swimming. In total, 113 male and 53 female swimmers competed in this indoor ultraendurance event while swimming in a heated pool. The number of male participants significantly increased (r² = 0.36, P = 0.04) over time while the participation of females remained unchanged (r² = 0.12, P = 0.26). In the age group < 19 years, the male swimmers achieved a significantly greater distance than the females (32.7 km vs. 21.9 km, respectively) (P < 0.05). In the older age groups (20-29 years, 30-39 years, 40-49 years, and 50-59 years, respectively) was no gender difference in swimming performances (P < 0.05). The best performance was achieved in the age groups 30-39 years and 40-49 years for both genders, respectively. The athletes in the age groups < 19 years, 20-29 years and 50-59 years in females were significantly slower than the athletes in the age group 30-39 years and 40-49 years (P < 0.05). For the males, the athletes in the age group 30-39 years were significantly faster than the athletes in the age group < 19 years. The annual best performance was not significantly different between males and females (38.3 ± 2.9 km vs. 34.4 ± 8.2 km, respectively) (P < 0.05). The best male and female swim performances remained unchanged across the years. Females are able to achieve a similar swim performance in an indoor ultra-endurance swim event of ~40 km. Further studies are needed to investigate whether females are able to achieve similar or even better performances than males in openwater ultra-swimming events such as 'Channel Swimming'.
The Chinese journal of physiology 10/2012; 55(5):346-51. · 0.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: An association between fluid intake and limb swelling has been described for 100-km ultra-marathoners. We investigated a potential development of peripheral oedemata in Ironman triathletes competing over 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km running. METHODS: In 15 male Ironman triathletes, fluid intake, changes in body mass, fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, limb volumes and skinfold thickness were measured. Changes in renal function, parameters of skeletal muscle damage, hematologic parameters and osmolality in both serum and urine were determined. Skinfold thicknesses at hands and feet were measured using LIPOMETER(R) and changes of limb volumes were measured using plethysmography. RESULTS: The athletes consumed a total of 8.6 +/- 4.4 L of fluids, equal to 0.79 +/- 0.43 L/h. Body mass, skeletal muscle mass and the volume of the lower leg decreased (p <0.05), fat mass, skinfold thicknesses and the volume of the arm remained unchanged (p >0.05). The decrease in skeletal muscle mass was associated with the decrease in body mass (p >0.05). The decrease in the lower leg volume was unrelated to fluid intake (p >0.05). Haemoglobin, haematocrit and serum sodium remained unchanged (p >0.05). Osmolality in serum and urine increased (p <0.05). The change in body mass was related to post-race serum sodium concentration ([Na+]) (r = -0.52, p <0.05) and post-race serum osmolality (r = -0.60, p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In these Ironman triathletes, ad libitum fluid intake maintained plasma [Na+] and plasma osmolality and led to no peripheral oedemata. The volume of the lower leg decreased and the decrease was unrelated to fluid intake. Future studies may investigate ultra-triathletes competing in a Triple Iron triathlon over 11.4 km swimming, 540 km cycling and 126.6 km running to find an association between fluid intake and the development of peripheral oedemata.
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 09/2012; 9(1):40. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] 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.
Asian journal of sports medicine. 09/2012; 3(3):145-52.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent investigations described a personal best marathon time as a predictor variable for an Ironman race time in recreational male Ironman triathletes. Similarities and differences in anthropometry and training were investigated between 83 recreational male Ironman triathletes and 81 recreational male marathoners. Ironman triathletes were significantly taller and had a higher body mass and a higher skin-fold thickness of the calf compared to the marathoners. Weekly training volume in hours was higher in Ironman triathletes. In the Ironman triathletes, percent body fat was related to overall race time and both the split time in cycling and running. The weekly swim kilometres were related to the split time in swimming, and the speed in cycling was related to the bike split time. For the marathoners, the calf skin-fold thickness and running speed during training were related to marathon race time. Although personal best marathon time was a predictor of Ironman race time in male triathletes, anthropometric and training characteristics of male marathoners were different from those of male Ironman triathletes, probably due to training of different muscle groups and metabolic endurance beyond marathon running, as the triathletes are also training for high-level performance in swimming and cycling. Future studies should compare Olympic distance triathletes and road cyclists with Ironman triathletes.
Perceptual and Motor Skills 08/2012; 115(1):283-99. · 0.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little research has examined ultra-endurance swimming performances. The 'English Channel Swim', where swimmers have to cover a distance of 32 km between England and France represents a unique long-distance, open-water, sea-swimming challenge, and each year swimmers from all over the world try to succeed in this challenge. The best times in minutes and the nationality of successful men and women swimmers were analysed from 1900 to 2010. A total of 1,533 swimmers (455 women and 1,078 men) from more than 40 countries have successfully completed the 'English Channel Swim'. Great Britain was the country most represented, with 38% of the total, followed by the United States with 20%. Swim speed has increased progressively for both sexes (P < 0.001) but was lower for women than for men (0.68 ± 0.15 m · s⁻¹ vs 0.71 ± 0.16 m · s⁻¹ respectively, P < 0.01). However, the best annual performances did not differ between the sexes (men: 0.89 ± 0.20 m · s⁻¹; women: 0.84 ± 0.18 m · s⁻¹, P > 0.05). The results suggest that the performance of women open-water ultra-distance swimmers may be similar to that of men. Further studies investigating anthropometrical and physiological characteristics of open-water ultra-swimmers are needed to compare men's and women's open-water ultra-swim performances.
Journal of Sports Sciences 07/2012; 30(12):1295-301. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "The aim of this study was to investigate whether the characteristics of anthropometry, training or previous performance were related to an Ironman race time in recreational female Ironman triathletes. These characteristics were correlated to an Ironman race time for 53 recreational female triathletes in order to determine the predictor variables, and so be able to predict an Ironman race time for future novice triathletes. In the bi-variate analysis, no anthropometric characteristic was related to race time. The weekly cycling kilometers (r = -0.35) and hours (r = -0.32), as well as the personal best time in an Olympic distance triathlon (r = 0.49) and in a marathon (r = 0.74) were related to an Ironman race time (< 0.05). Stepwise multiple regressions showed that both the personal best time in an Olympic distance triathlon ( P = 0.0453) and in a marathon (P = 0.0030) were the best predictors for the Ironman race time (n = 28, r² = 0.53). The race time in an Ironman triathlon might be partially predicted by the following equation (r² = 0.53, n = 28): Race time (min) = 186.3 + 1.595 × (personal best time in an Olympic distance triathlon, min) + 1.318 × (personal best time in a marathon, min) for recreational female Ironman triathletes."
The Chinese journal of physiology 06/2012; 55(3):156-62. · 0.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: "In a recent study of male and female ultra-marathoners in a 161-km ultra-marathon, the prevalence of exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) was higher than reported for marathoners. Regarding triathletes, the prevalence of EAH has been investigated in Ironman triathletes, but not in Triple Iron ultra-triathletes. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of EAH in male ultra-triathletes competing in a Triple Iron ultra-triathlon over 11.4 km swimming, 540 km cycling, and 126.6 km running. Changes in body mass, fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, total body water, haematocrit, plasma volume, plasma sodium concentration ([Na ⁺ ]) and urine specific gravity were determined in 31 male athletes with (means ± standard deviation) 42.1 ± 8.1 years of age, 77.0 ± 7.0 kg body mass, 1.78 ± 0.06 m body height and a BMI of 24.3 ± 1.7 kg/m² in the 'Triple Iron Triathlon Germany'. Of the 31 finishers, eight athletes (26%) developed asymptomatic EAH. Body mass, fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, and haematocrit decreased, plasma volume increased ( P < 0.05), plasma [Na ⁺], total body water and urine specific gravity remained stable. The decrease in body mass was related to both the decrease in fat mass and skeletal muscle mass ( P < 0.05), but was not related to overall race time, the change in plasma [Na ⁺ ], post-race plasma [Na ⁺ ], or urine specific gravity. The prevalence of EAH was higher in these Triple Iron ultra-triathletes compared to existing reports on Ironman triathletes. Body fluid homeostasis remained stable in these ultra-triathletes although body mass decreased."
The Chinese journal of physiology 06/2012; 55(3):147-55. · 0.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined participation and performance trends in the 26.4-km open-water ultra-swim 'Marathon Swim in Lake Zurich', Switzerland. A total of 461 athletes (157 females and 304 males) finished the race between 1987 and 2011. The mean age of the finishers during the studied period was 32.0±6.5 years for males and 30.9±7.2 years for females, respectively. The mean age of finishers and the age of winners increased significantly across years for both sexes (p < 0.01). The winner times were significantly lower for males (403±43 min) compared to females (452±63 min) (p < 0.01). In contrast, the mean swimming time of the finishers did not differ between males (530±39 min) and females (567±71 min) (p > 0.05). The swimming time performance remained stable (p > 0.05) for both sexes across years. A higher age was associated with an increased risk for not finishing the race (odds ratio = 0.93, p = 0.045). Swim time was negatively associated with water temperature in the top three swimmers (ß = -9.87, p = 0.025). These results show that open-water ultra-swimming performance of elite swimmers over 26.4 km in a freshwater lake is affected by age, sex and water temperature. The sex difference in open-water ultra-swimming performance (∼11.5%) remained unchanged these last 25 years. It seems unlikely that elite female swimmers will achieve the same performance of elite male swimmers competing in open-water ultra-swimming in water of ∼20°C. Anthropometric and physiological characteristics such as skeletal muscle mass and thermoregulation need additional investigations in female and male open-water ultra-swimmers.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 06/2012; · 1.80 Impact Factor