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Impact of training volume and experience on amateur Ironman triathlon performance


Sinisgalli, Rafaella; de Lira, Claudio A B; Vancini, Rodrigo L; Puccinelli, Paulo J G; Hill, Lee; Knechtle, Beat; Nikolaidis, Pantelis T; Andrade, Marilia S (2021). Impact of training volume and experience on amateur Ironman triathlon performance. Physiology and Behavior, 232:113344.

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the association between training volume, sleep time, signs and symptoms of excessive training (overtraining), and previous triathlon experience with overall and split race times in the Ironman distance triathlon.
Methods: Ninety-nine triathletes (19 women and 80 men) answered an online survey containing questions about anthropometric characteristics (body mass and height), weekly training volume (hours per day and days per week), previous experience in Ironman distance triathlon race, and signs and symptoms of excessive training. Data of race times of all participants were collected by a single race (the Ironman Brazil 2019 - Florianópolis). All surveys were collected between 28 and 30 days before the race. The athlete was instructed to answer the questions according to what was happening in the week before completing the survey.
Results: Total race time did not differ among those who trained up to 14 h per week (11:28:46±01:54:30 h:min:sec), between 15 and 20 h per week (11:37:31±01:20:26 h:min:sec) or more than 20 h per week (11:30:18±01:31:28 h:min:sec) (p = 0.922). Total race time of the triathletes who presented (12:42:22±01:49:36 h:min:sec) or no (11:23:06±01:29:02 h:min:sec) unintentional body mass loss (p = 0.006), feeling (12:46:17±02:03:13 h:min:sec) or no (11:24:09±01:28:07 h:min:sec) of decreased performance (p = 0.009) or feeling (12:08:58±01:47:12 h:min:sec) or no (11:16:34±01:24:53 h:min:sec) loss of energy (p = 0.011) in the week prior to the race were significantly different. Triathletes who had a previous experience in Ironman races achieved a better performance (11:15:21±01:32:04 h:min:sec) than those without previous experience (12:06:38±01:32:10 h:min:sec) (p = 0.010).
Conclusion: In summary, high volumes of training (more than 20 h per week), when performed forty days before a race, may not have a positive impact on performance compared to lower volumes of training (up to 14 h per week). However, athletes who had a previous experience in Ironman race presented better results in swimming splits and overall race time. Moreover, the presence of overtraining symptoms, such as unintentional loss of weight, sensation of fatigue and/or performance decrease impact negatively triathlon performance.

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the association between training volume, sleep time, signs and symptoms of excessive training (overtraining), and previous triathlon experience with overall and split race times in the Ironman distance triathlon.
Methods: Ninety-nine triathletes (19 women and 80 men) answered an online survey containing questions about anthropometric characteristics (body mass and height), weekly training volume (hours per day and days per week), previous experience in Ironman distance triathlon race, and signs and symptoms of excessive training. Data of race times of all participants were collected by a single race (the Ironman Brazil 2019 - Florianópolis). All surveys were collected between 28 and 30 days before the race. The athlete was instructed to answer the questions according to what was happening in the week before completing the survey.
Results: Total race time did not differ among those who trained up to 14 h per week (11:28:46±01:54:30 h:min:sec), between 15 and 20 h per week (11:37:31±01:20:26 h:min:sec) or more than 20 h per week (11:30:18±01:31:28 h:min:sec) (p = 0.922). Total race time of the triathletes who presented (12:42:22±01:49:36 h:min:sec) or no (11:23:06±01:29:02 h:min:sec) unintentional body mass loss (p = 0.006), feeling (12:46:17±02:03:13 h:min:sec) or no (11:24:09±01:28:07 h:min:sec) of decreased performance (p = 0.009) or feeling (12:08:58±01:47:12 h:min:sec) or no (11:16:34±01:24:53 h:min:sec) loss of energy (p = 0.011) in the week prior to the race were significantly different. Triathletes who had a previous experience in Ironman races achieved a better performance (11:15:21±01:32:04 h:min:sec) than those without previous experience (12:06:38±01:32:10 h:min:sec) (p = 0.010).
Conclusion: In summary, high volumes of training (more than 20 h per week), when performed forty days before a race, may not have a positive impact on performance compared to lower volumes of training (up to 14 h per week). However, athletes who had a previous experience in Ironman race presented better results in swimming splits and overall race time. Moreover, the presence of overtraining symptoms, such as unintentional loss of weight, sensation of fatigue and/or performance decrease impact negatively triathlon performance.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Behavioral Neuroscience
Uncontrolled Keywords:Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 April 2021
Deposited On:19 Feb 2021 16:00
Last Modified:20 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0031-9384
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2021.113344

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