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Running performance not anthropometric factors is associated with race success in a Triple Iron Triathlon
  1. Beat Knechtle (beat.knechtle{at}
  1. Gesundheitszentrum St. Gallen, Switzerland
    1. Goetz Kohler (goetz.kohler{at}
    1. Division of Biophysical Chemistry, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland


      Objectives: To investigate the influence of anthropometric parameters on race performance in ultra-endurance triathletes Design: Descriptive field study. Setting: The Triple Iron Triathlon Germany 2006 in Lensahn over 11.6 km swimming, 540 km cycling and 126.6 km running. Subjects: 17 male Caucasian triathletes (mean ± SD, 39.2 ± 7.5 years, 80.7 ± 8.9 kg, 178 ± 5 cm, BMI 25.4 ± 2.4 kg/m2). Interventions: None. Main Outcome Measurements: Determination of body mass, body height, skin fold thicknesses, circumferences of extremities as well as calculation of body mass index (BMI), skeletal muscle mass (SM), percent SM (%SM) and percent body fat (%BF) in order to correlate measured and calculated anthropometric parameters with race performance. Results: Body mass, body height, skin fold thicknesses, circumferences of extremities, BMI, %SM and %BF had no effect (p>0.05) on race performance The squared correlation coefficient between the race time and the anthropometric properties limb circumferences, BMI, %SM and %BF was always lower than 0.03. The best correlation was shown between running time and total race time (r2=0.87) as well as cycling time and total race time (r2=0.62). The lowest correlation was shown between swimming time and total race time (r2=0.04). Conclusions: There is no association of anthropometric parameters with race performance in ultra-endurance triathletes. Running performance before cycling performance seems to be the most important factor in order to be successful in a Triple Iron Triathlon. Swimming performance seems to be of low importance.

      • anthropometry
      • body mass index
      • fat mass
      • skeletal muscle mass
      • ultra-endurance

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