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.