Of 221 competitors in a University half marathon in 1983, 98 replied to a questionnaire before the race which asked for details of training, age, height, weight and resting pulse rate. Finishing times of all competitors were recorded. In a multiple regression analysis significant predictors of running speed were: amount of training, expressed as distance run per week and number of weeks training for the event, the Body Mass Index (weight/height) and resting pulse rate. We conclude that for assessing running speed amongst competitors with similar amounts of training, the Body Mass Index and the resting pulse rate are useful substitutes for more elaborate and expensive measures.
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