The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of marathon performance time (MPT) with maximal aerobic power (Vo2max). body composition, and training factors recorded for 9 wk prior to a race. Fifty males, 21 to 61 years of age (+/- = 36 yr) with a mean weight of 69.6 kg, kept daily exercise records which included the distance and time run for each workout. Vo2max ranged from 52.7 to 88.6 ml-kg-1-min-1; total km for the 9 wk period ranged from 372 to 1260; km per workout ranged from 6.1 to 20.6; total workout days ranged from 28 to 61; and MPT ranged from 139 to 298 min. MPT was inversely related to Vo2max (r=-0.63), total km (r = -0.67), average km per workout (r = -0.64), and total workout days (r = -0.62). MPT was slightly correlated with body weight (r = 0.41) and the 2 7 skinfolds (r = 0.41). For a group of runners which includes both novice and experienced marathoners, MPT may be predicted (R2 = 0.71) by the following equation:
MPT (min) = 525.9 + 7.09 (km-workout-1) - 0.45 (workout speed, m-min-1) - 0.17 (total km for 9 wk) - 2.01 (VO2max. ml-kg-1-min-1) - 1.24 (age, yr).
These findings suggest that a high maximal aerobic power, low body mass, daily workouts, and training runs of long duration and distance contribute to better performance times in the marathon.
(C)1981The American College of Sports Medicine