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Variables that influence Ironman triathlon performance - what changed in the last 35 years?

Knechtle B, Knechtle R, Stiefel M, Zingg MA, Rosemann T, Rüst CA - Open Access J Sports Med (2015)

Bottom Line: All resulting articles were searched for related citations.Age and previous experience are important to find the right point in the life of a triathlete to switch from the shorter triathlon distances to the Ironman distance.Future studies need to correlate physiological characteristics such as maximum oxygen uptake with Ironman race time to investigate their potential predictive value and to investigate socio-economic aspects in Ironman triathlon.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Gesundheitszentrum St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland ; Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT

Objective: This narrative review summarizes findings for Ironman triathlon performance and intends to determine potential predictor variables for Ironman race performance in female and male triathletes.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed using the terms "Ironman", "triathlon", and "performance". All resulting articles were searched for related citations.

Results: Age, previous experience, sex, training, origin, anthropometric and physiological characteristics, pacing, and performance in split disciplines were predictive. Differences exist between the sexes for anthropometric characteristics. The most important predictive variables for a fast Ironman race time were age of 30-35 years (women and men), a fast personal best time in Olympic distance triathlon (women and men), a fast personal best time in marathon (women and men), high volume and high speed in training where high volume was more important than high speed (women and men), low body fat, low skin-fold thicknesses and low circumference of upper arm (only men), and origin from the United States of America (women and men).

Conclusion: These findings may help athletes and coaches to plan an Ironman triathlon career. Age and previous experience are important to find the right point in the life of a triathlete to switch from the shorter triathlon distances to the Ironman distance. Future studies need to correlate physiological characteristics such as maximum oxygen uptake with Ironman race time to investigate their potential predictive value and to investigate socio-economic aspects in Ironman triathlon.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Age (years) of the annual ten fastest men in Ironman Hawaii from 1978 to 2014.Note: The results are presented as mean ± SD.
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f2-oajsm-6-277: Age (years) of the annual ten fastest men in Ironman Hawaii from 1978 to 2014.Note: The results are presented as mean ± SD.

Mentions: However, the age of the annual ten fastest triathletes increased across the last 30 years in “Ironman Hawaii”.14 This is in accordance with relative improvements of Iron-man performances in older age groups.8,15 The mean age of the annual ten fastest finishers increased nonlinearly (ie, polynomial fifth degree) in women (Figure 1) and in men (Figure 2). Race times of the annual ten fastest decreased nonlinearly (ie, polynomial fifth degree) in women (Figure 3) and men (Figure 4). Considering male winners in “Ironman Hawaii” in the last 11 years from 2004 to 2014, their mean age was 33.2±3.4 years (Table 1). For female winners, the mean age was identical at 33.4±3.0 years (Table 2).


Variables that influence Ironman triathlon performance - what changed in the last 35 years?

Knechtle B, Knechtle R, Stiefel M, Zingg MA, Rosemann T, Rüst CA - Open Access J Sports Med (2015)

Age (years) of the annual ten fastest men in Ironman Hawaii from 1978 to 2014.Note: The results are presented as mean ± SD.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4556299&req=5

f2-oajsm-6-277: Age (years) of the annual ten fastest men in Ironman Hawaii from 1978 to 2014.Note: The results are presented as mean ± SD.
Mentions: However, the age of the annual ten fastest triathletes increased across the last 30 years in “Ironman Hawaii”.14 This is in accordance with relative improvements of Iron-man performances in older age groups.8,15 The mean age of the annual ten fastest finishers increased nonlinearly (ie, polynomial fifth degree) in women (Figure 1) and in men (Figure 2). Race times of the annual ten fastest decreased nonlinearly (ie, polynomial fifth degree) in women (Figure 3) and men (Figure 4). Considering male winners in “Ironman Hawaii” in the last 11 years from 2004 to 2014, their mean age was 33.2±3.4 years (Table 1). For female winners, the mean age was identical at 33.4±3.0 years (Table 2).

Bottom Line: All resulting articles were searched for related citations.Age and previous experience are important to find the right point in the life of a triathlete to switch from the shorter triathlon distances to the Ironman distance.Future studies need to correlate physiological characteristics such as maximum oxygen uptake with Ironman race time to investigate their potential predictive value and to investigate socio-economic aspects in Ironman triathlon.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Gesundheitszentrum St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland ; Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

ABSTRACT

Objective: This narrative review summarizes findings for Ironman triathlon performance and intends to determine potential predictor variables for Ironman race performance in female and male triathletes.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed using the terms "Ironman", "triathlon", and "performance". All resulting articles were searched for related citations.

Results: Age, previous experience, sex, training, origin, anthropometric and physiological characteristics, pacing, and performance in split disciplines were predictive. Differences exist between the sexes for anthropometric characteristics. The most important predictive variables for a fast Ironman race time were age of 30-35 years (women and men), a fast personal best time in Olympic distance triathlon (women and men), a fast personal best time in marathon (women and men), high volume and high speed in training where high volume was more important than high speed (women and men), low body fat, low skin-fold thicknesses and low circumference of upper arm (only men), and origin from the United States of America (women and men).

Conclusion: These findings may help athletes and coaches to plan an Ironman triathlon career. Age and previous experience are important to find the right point in the life of a triathlete to switch from the shorter triathlon distances to the Ironman distance. Future studies need to correlate physiological characteristics such as maximum oxygen uptake with Ironman race time to investigate their potential predictive value and to investigate socio-economic aspects in Ironman triathlon.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus