Personal best times in an Olympic distance triathlon and in a marathon predict Ironman race time in recreational male triathletes
Christoph Alexander Rüst1, Beat Knechtle1,2, Patrizia Knechtle2, Thomas Rosemann1, Romuald Lepers3
1Institute of General Practice and Health Services Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 2Gesundheitszentrum St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland; 3INSERM U887, University of Burgundy, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Dijon, France
Background: The purpose of this study was to define predictor variables for recreational male Ironman triathletes, using age and basic measurements of anthropometry, training, and previous performance to establish an equation for the prediction of an Ironman race time for future recreational male Ironman triathletes.
Methods: Age and anthropometry, training, and previous experience variables were related to Ironman race time using bivariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: A total of 184 recreational male triathletes, of mean age 40.9 ± 8.4 years, height 1.80 ± 0.06 m, and weight 76.3 ± 8.4 kg completed the Ironman within 691 ± 83 minutes. They spent 13.9 ± 5.0 hours per week in training, covering 6.3 ± 3.1 km of swimming, 194.4 ± 76.6 km of cycling, and 45.0 ± 15.9 km of running. In total, 149 triathletes had completed at least one marathon, and 150 athletes had finished at least one Olympic distance triathlon. They had a personal best time of 130.4 ± 44.2 minutes in an Olympic distance triathlon and of 193.9 ± 31.9 minutes in marathon running. In total, 126 finishers had completed both an Olympic distance triathlon and a marathon. After multivariate analysis, both a personal best time in a marathon (P < 0.0001) and in an Olympic distance triathlon (P < 0.0001) were the best variables related to Ironman race time. Ironman race time (minutes) might be partially predicted by the following equation: (r2 = 0.65, standard error of estimate = 56.8) = 152.1 + 1.332 × (personal best time in a marathon, minutes) + 1.964 × (personal best time in an Olympic distance triathlon, minutes).
Conclusion: These results suggest that, in contrast with anthropometric and training characteristics, both the personal best time in an Olympic distance triathlon and in a marathon predict Ironman race time in recreational male Ironman triathletes.
Keywords: body fat, swimming, cycling, running, triathlon
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