Objective: To investigate the association of anthropometric parameters to race performance in ultra-endurance runners in a multi-stage ultra-endurance run.
Design: Descriptive field study.
Setting: The “Deutschlandlauf 2006” in Germany, where athletes had to run 1,200 km within 17 consecutive days. Subjects: Nineteen male Caucasian ultra runners (mean ± SD; 46.2 ± 9.6 years, 71.8 ± 5.2 kg, 179 ± 6 cm, BMI 22.5 ± 1.9 kg/m2).
Main Outcome Measurements: Determination of body mass, body height, length of lower limbs, skin fold thicknesses, circumference of extremities, skeletal muscle mass (SM), BMI and percent body fat (%BF) in 19 successful finishers in order to correlate anthropometric parameters with running performance.
Results: A statistically significant association of the upper arm circumference with the total running time is indicated (p<0.05, r2=0.26). No significant association is shown by the directly measured anthropometric properties body height, body mass, average skin fold thickness as well as the circumference of thigh and calf (p>0.05). Furthermore, no significant association was observed between the running time and the calculated parameters BMI, %BF, and %SM (p>0.05).
Conclusions: In an ultra-endurance run over 1,200 km within 17 consecutive days, circumference of the upper arm was the only factor associated with performance in well-experienced ultra-endurance runners. Body mass, BMI, body height, length of limbs, skin fold thicknesses, circumference of extremities and the calculated body composition skeletal muscle mass and percent body fat showed no association with running performance.
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