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Percept Mot Skills. 2012 Aug;115(1):283-99.

Comparison between recreational male Ironman triathletes and marathon runners.

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  • 1Institute of General Practice and Health Services Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


Recent investigations described a personal best marathon time as a predictor variable for an Ironman race time in recreational male Ironman triathletes. Similarities and differences in anthropometry and training were investigated between 83 recreational male Ironman triathletes and 81 recreational male marathoners. Ironman triathletes were significantly taller and had a higher body mass and a higher skin-fold thickness of the calf compared to the marathoners. Weekly training volume in hours was higher in Ironman triathletes. In the Ironman triathletes, percent body fat was related to overall race time and both the split time in cycling and running. The weekly swim kilometres were related to the split time in swimming, and the speed in cycling was related to the bike split time. For the marathoners, the calf skin-fold thickness and running speed during training were related to marathon race time. Although personal best marathon time was a predictor of Ironman race time in male triathletes, anthropometric and training characteristics of male marathoners were different from those of male Ironman triathletes, probably due to training of different muscle groups and metabolic endurance beyond marathon running, as the triathletes are also training for high-level performance in swimming and cycling. Future studies should compare Olympic distance triathletes and road cyclists with Ironman triathletes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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