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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1998 Sep;38(3):253-7.

Relationship of somatotype and physical characteristics to distance running performance in middle age runners.

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School of HPER, University of Nebraska at Omaha 68182-0216, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the variance explained by somatotype, selected anthropometric variables, and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) on 10 km run time.


Subjects were 19 female and 34 male moderately trained distance runners who competed in a local 10 km road race. Mean ages were 39.7 +/- 9.2 for females and 42.7 +/- 10.3 yr for males.


Endomorphy explained 41.0% (R = 0.64, SEE = 6.5 min) of the variance in females' 10 km time, whereas body mass index explained 28.0% (R = 0.53, SEE = 7.8 min) with mesomorphy adding 10.4% (R = 0.62, SEE = 7.3 min) more explained variance in males' running times. With data combined for men and women, endomorphy explained 22.1% (R = 0.47, SEE = 7.9 min) of the variance.


It was concluded that somatotype and body mass index explain a moderate portion of the variance in 10 km run performance in runners heterogeneous in ability. Muscle and muscle plus bone cross-sectional area of related running muscles does not contribute to the explained variance in men. Research seeking to explain sources of variation in running performance should consider including somatotype as an independent variable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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