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The effect of sex, age and performance level on pacing of Ironman triathletes


Knechtle, Beat; Käch, Ilja; Rosemann, Thomas; Nikolaidis, Pantelis T (2019). The effect of sex, age and performance level on pacing of Ironman triathletes. Research in Sports Medicine, 27(1):99-111.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of sex, age and performance level on pacing of Ironman triathletes. Split times (i.e. swimming, cycling, and running) and overall race times of 343,345 athletes competing between 2002 and 2015 in 253 different Ironman triathlon races were analyzed. Participants were classified into nine performance groups according to their overall race time. Times in swimming, cycling, running and transition were expressed as percentage of the overall race time. Women spent relatively less time (%) in swimming, running and transition time, and more time (%) in cycling than men (p < 0.001). The fastest performance group was relatively faster in running (34.8 ± 1.4 versus 40.3 ± 3.0%, η= 0.098) and transition time (0.9 ± 0.3 versus 2.2 ± 0.6%, η= 0.178), and relatively slower in swimming (10.2 ± 0.8 versus 9.8 ± 1.5%, η= 0.018) and cycling (54.1 ± 1.4 versus 47.8 ± 2.8%, η= 0.138) than the slowest performance group (p < 0.001). The younger age groups were relatively faster in swimming, running and transition time, but relatively slower in cycling. In summary, the fastest Ironman triathletes were the relatively fastest in running and transition times. Thus, race tactics in an Ironman triathlon should focus on saving energy during swimming and cycling for the running split.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of sex, age and performance level on pacing of Ironman triathletes. Split times (i.e. swimming, cycling, and running) and overall race times of 343,345 athletes competing between 2002 and 2015 in 253 different Ironman triathlon races were analyzed. Participants were classified into nine performance groups according to their overall race time. Times in swimming, cycling, running and transition were expressed as percentage of the overall race time. Women spent relatively less time (%) in swimming, running and transition time, and more time (%) in cycling than men (p < 0.001). The fastest performance group was relatively faster in running (34.8 ± 1.4 versus 40.3 ± 3.0%, η= 0.098) and transition time (0.9 ± 0.3 versus 2.2 ± 0.6%, η= 0.178), and relatively slower in swimming (10.2 ± 0.8 versus 9.8 ± 1.5%, η= 0.018) and cycling (54.1 ± 1.4 versus 47.8 ± 2.8%, η= 0.138) than the slowest performance group (p < 0.001). The younger age groups were relatively faster in swimming, running and transition time, but relatively slower in cycling. In summary, the fastest Ironman triathletes were the relatively fastest in running and transition times. Thus, race tactics in an Ironman triathlon should focus on saving energy during swimming and cycling for the running split.

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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:2019
Deposited On:12 Jun 2019 14:31
Last Modified:25 Jun 2019 12:47
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1543-8627
Additional Information:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Sports Medicine on2019, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15438627.2018.1546703
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2018.1546703
PubMed ID:30418036

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