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Differential Correlations Between Anthropometry, Training Volume, and Performance in Male and Female Ironman Triathletes

Knechtle, Beat; Wirth, Andrea; Baumann, Barbara; Knechtle, Patrizia; Rosemann, Thomas; Oliver, Senn

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 10 - pp 2785-2793
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643b6
Original Research

Knechtle, B, Wirth, A, Baumann, B, Knechtle, P, Rosemann, T, and Senn, O. Differential correlations between anthropometry, training volume, and performance in male and female Ironman triathletes. J Strength Cond Res 24(10): 2785-2793, 2010-We investigated in 27 male Ironman triathletes aged 30.3 (9.1) years, with 77.7- (9.8) kg body mass, 1.78- (0.06) m body height, 24.3- (2.2) kg·m−2 body mass index (BMI), and 14.4 (4.8) % body fat and in 16 female Ironman triathletes aged 36.6 (7.0) years, with 59.7- (6.1) kg body mass, 1.66- (0.06) m body height, 21.5 (1.0) kg·m−2 BMI, and 22.8 (4.8) % body fat to ascertain whether anthropometric or training variables were related to total race time. The male athletes were training 14.8 (3.2) h·wk−1 with a speed of 2.7 (0.6) km·h−1 in swimming, 27.3 (3.0) in cycling, and 10.6 (1.4) in running. The female athletes trained for 13.9 (3.4) h·wk−1 at 2.1 (0.8) km·h−1h in swimming, 23.7 (7.6) km·h−1 in cycling, and 9.0 (3.7) km·h−1 in running, respectively. For male athletes, percent body fat was highly significantly (r2 = 0.583; p < 0.001) associated with total race time. In female triathletes, training volume showed a relationship to total race time (r2 = 0.466; p < 0.01). Percent body fat was unrelated to training volume for both men (r2 = 0.001; p > 0.05) and women (r2 = 0.007; p > 0.05). We conclude that percent body fat showed a relationship to total race time in male triathletes, and training volume showed an association with total race time in female triathletes. Presumably, the relationship between percent body fat, training volume, and race performance is genetically determined.

1Gesundheitszentrum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland; and 2Institute of General Practice and for Health Services Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Address correspondence to Dr. Beat Knechtle,

Copyright © 2010 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.