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Force-Velocity Characteristics, Muscle Strength, and Flexibility in Female Recreational Marathon Runners


Nikolaidis, Pantelis Theodoros; Rosemann, Thomas; Knechtle, Beat (2018). Force-Velocity Characteristics, Muscle Strength, and Flexibility in Female Recreational Marathon Runners. Frontiers in Physiology, 9:1563.

Abstract

Physical fitness components that relate with performance in marathon running, e.g., aerobic capacity and body composition, have been studied extensively. On the other hand, data on components of the health-related physical fitness, such as flexibility and muscle strength, were missing in this sport. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to profile force-velocity (F-v) characteristics, muscle strength and flexibility in female recreational marathon runners and to examine their relationship with age, race time and anthropometric characteristics (body fat percentage, fat-free mass - FFM, and total thigh muscle cross-sectional area - CSA). Thirty three female marathon runners (age 40.0 ± 8.9 years, body fat percentage 19.5 ± 4.6% and personal record 4:34 ± 0:39 h:min), separated into three age groups (<35, 35-45 and >45 years) and three performance groups (race time <4:15 h:min, 4:15-4:45 h:min and >4:45 h:min), performed sit-and-reach test (SAR), isometric muscle strength tests, squat jump, countermovement jump and F-v test on a cycle ergometer. The main findings of the present study were that (i) participants had moderate scores of body composition and physical fitness considering norms of the general population, (ii) the <35 age group had better jumping ability than 35-45 and >45 age group, and the older age group had lower F, Pmax and rPmax than their younger counterparts, (iii) the slowest performance group scored the highest in SAR, and (iv) isometric strength, F and Pmax correlated largely with body mass and FFM. Considering the lack of existing data on anaerobic power and neuromuscular fitness of female marathon runners, the findings reported in this study would be useful for strength and conditioning trainers to monitor the training of their athletes. Even if these parameters were not related to race time, they should be monitored regularly as they were either component of health-related physical fitness (muscle strength and flexibility) or could help runners (anaerobic power) under specific circumstances such as ascends during a race.

Abstract

Physical fitness components that relate with performance in marathon running, e.g., aerobic capacity and body composition, have been studied extensively. On the other hand, data on components of the health-related physical fitness, such as flexibility and muscle strength, were missing in this sport. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to profile force-velocity (F-v) characteristics, muscle strength and flexibility in female recreational marathon runners and to examine their relationship with age, race time and anthropometric characteristics (body fat percentage, fat-free mass - FFM, and total thigh muscle cross-sectional area - CSA). Thirty three female marathon runners (age 40.0 ± 8.9 years, body fat percentage 19.5 ± 4.6% and personal record 4:34 ± 0:39 h:min), separated into three age groups (<35, 35-45 and >45 years) and three performance groups (race time <4:15 h:min, 4:15-4:45 h:min and >4:45 h:min), performed sit-and-reach test (SAR), isometric muscle strength tests, squat jump, countermovement jump and F-v test on a cycle ergometer. The main findings of the present study were that (i) participants had moderate scores of body composition and physical fitness considering norms of the general population, (ii) the <35 age group had better jumping ability than 35-45 and >45 age group, and the older age group had lower F, Pmax and rPmax than their younger counterparts, (iii) the slowest performance group scored the highest in SAR, and (iv) isometric strength, F and Pmax correlated largely with body mass and FFM. Considering the lack of existing data on anaerobic power and neuromuscular fitness of female marathon runners, the findings reported in this study would be useful for strength and conditioning trainers to monitor the training of their athletes. Even if these parameters were not related to race time, they should be monitored regularly as they were either component of health-related physical fitness (muscle strength and flexibility) or could help runners (anaerobic power) under specific circumstances such as ascends during a race.

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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:2018
Deposited On:27 Feb 2019 15:28
Last Modified:27 Feb 2019 15:29
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-042X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01563
PubMed ID:30450057

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