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Comparison of training and anthropometric characteristics between recreational male half-marathoners and marathoners


Zillmann, Teresa; Knechtle, Beat; Rüst, Christoph Alexander; Knechtle, Patrizia; Rosemann, Thomas; Lepers, Romuald (2013). Comparison of training and anthropometric characteristics between recreational male half-marathoners and marathoners. Chinese Journal of Physiology, 56(3):138-146.

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.

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.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:09 Aug 2013 14:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:53
Publisher:Chinese Physiological Society
ISSN:0304-4920
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4077/CJP.2013.BAB105
PubMed ID:23656215

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