OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of anthropometric and training parameters on race performance in ultra-endurance runners in a 24-hour-run.
DESIGN: Descriptive field study.
SETTING: The 24-hour-run in Basel 2007.
SUBJECTS: Fifteen male Caucasian ultra runners (mean ± SD; 46.7 ± 5.8 y, 71.1 ± 6.8 kg, 1.76 ± 0.07 m, BMI 23.1 ± 1.84 kg/m2).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:Determination of age, body mass, body height, length of lower limbs, skin-fold thicknesses, circumference of extremities, skeletal muscle mass, BMI and percent body fat as well as training volume in 15 successful finishers in order to correlate anthropometric and training parameters with race performance.
RESULTS: No significant association (p>0.05) was found between the reached distance and the anthropometric properties. There was also no significant association of the reached distance with the weekly training hours, running years, the number of finished marathons and the number of finished 24-hour-runs. The reached distance is significantly (p<0.05) positively correlated with the personal best marathon performance (r2=0.40) and the personal best 24-hour-run distance (r2=0.58). Furthermore, the personal best marathon performance is highly significantly and positively correlated (p<0.01) with the best personal 24-hour-run distance (r2=0.76).
CONCLUSIONS: Anthropometry as well as training volume does not seem to have a major effect on race performance in a 24-hour-run. Instead, a fast personal best marathon time seems to be the only positive association with race performance in a 24-hour-run.