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Pacing of Women and Men in Half-Marathon and Marathon Races


Nikolaidis, Pantelis T; Ćuk, Ivan; Knechtle, Beat (2019). Pacing of Women and Men in Half-Marathon and Marathon Races. Medicina (Kaunas), 55(1):14.

Abstract

Half-marathon is the most popular endurance running race in terms of number of races and runners competing annually; however, no study has compared pacing strategies for this race distance with marathon. The aim of the present study was to profile pacing in half-marathon, compare half-marathon and marathon for pacing, and estimate sex differences in pacing. : A total of 9137 finishers in the half-marathon ( = 7258) and marathon race ( = 1853) in Ljubljana 2017 were considered for their pacing in five race segments (0⁻23.7%, 23.7⁻47.4%, 47.4⁻71.1%, 71.1⁻94.8%, and 94.8⁻100% of the race. : Half-marathon runners followed a positive pacing with every segment being slower than its previous one without the presence of an endspurt. Compared to marathon (where the average percent of change in speed (ACS) was 5.71%), a more even pacing was observed in half-marathon (ACS = 4.10%). Moreover, women (ACS = 4.11%) had similar pacing as men (ACS = 4.09%) in half-marathons. : In summary, running a half-marathon followed a unique pattern that differentiated this race distance from marathon, with the former showing a more even pacing with an absence of endspurt, and sex difference compared to the latter. Consequently, runners should be advised to adopt a less variable pacing when competing in a half-marathon, regardless of their sex. To the best of our knowledge, the more even pacing in half-marathon, than in marathon, was a novel finding, as it was the first study to compare the two race distances for this characteristic.

Abstract

Half-marathon is the most popular endurance running race in terms of number of races and runners competing annually; however, no study has compared pacing strategies for this race distance with marathon. The aim of the present study was to profile pacing in half-marathon, compare half-marathon and marathon for pacing, and estimate sex differences in pacing. : A total of 9137 finishers in the half-marathon ( = 7258) and marathon race ( = 1853) in Ljubljana 2017 were considered for their pacing in five race segments (0⁻23.7%, 23.7⁻47.4%, 47.4⁻71.1%, 71.1⁻94.8%, and 94.8⁻100% of the race. : Half-marathon runners followed a positive pacing with every segment being slower than its previous one without the presence of an endspurt. Compared to marathon (where the average percent of change in speed (ACS) was 5.71%), a more even pacing was observed in half-marathon (ACS = 4.10%). Moreover, women (ACS = 4.11%) had similar pacing as men (ACS = 4.09%) in half-marathons. : In summary, running a half-marathon followed a unique pattern that differentiated this race distance from marathon, with the former showing a more even pacing with an absence of endspurt, and sex difference compared to the latter. Consequently, runners should be advised to adopt a less variable pacing when competing in a half-marathon, regardless of their sex. To the best of our knowledge, the more even pacing in half-marathon, than in marathon, was a novel finding, as it was the first study to compare the two race distances for this characteristic.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Medicine
Language:English
Date:14 January 2019
Deposited On:12 Jun 2019 14:38
Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 23:45
Publisher:Lithuanian Medical Association, Kaunas University of Medicine, Vilnius University
ISSN:1010-660X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55010014
PubMed ID:30646638

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