Physiological and training characteristics of recreational marathon runners

Gordon, Dan and Whightman, Sarah and Basevitch, Itay and Johnstone, James and Espejo-Sanchez, Carolina and Beckford, Chelsea and Boal, Mariette and Scruton, Adrian and Ferrandino, Mike and Merzbach, Viviane (2017) Physiological and training characteristics of recreational marathon runners. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 8. pp. 231-241. ISSN 1179-1543

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the physical and training characteristics of recreational marathon runners within finish time bandings (2.5–3 h, 3–3.5 h, 3.5–4 h, 4–4.5 h and >4.5 h). Materials and methods: A total of 97 recreational marathon runners (age 42.4 ± 9.9 years; mass 69.2 ± 11.3 kg; stature 172.8 ± 9.1 cm), with a marathon finish time of 229.1 ± 48.7 min, of whom n = 34 were female and n = 63 were male, completed an incremental treadmill test for the determination of lactate threshold (LT1), lactate turn point (LT2) and running economy (RE). Following a 7-min recovery, they completed a test to volitional exhaustion starting at LT2 for the assessment of VO2max. In addition, all participants completed a questionnaire gathering information on their current training regimes exploring weekly distances, training frequencies, types of sessions, longest run in a week, with estimations of training speed, and load and volume derived from these data. Results: Training frequency was shown to be significantly greater for the 2.5–3 h group compared to the 3.5–4 h runners (P < 0.001) and >4.5 h group (P = 0.004), while distance per session (km⋅session–1) was significantly greater for the 2.5–3 h group (16.1 ± 4.2) compared to the 3.5–4 h group (15.5 ± 5.2; P = 0.01) and >4.5 h group (10.3 ± 2.6; P = 0.001). Race speed correlated with LT1 (r = 0.791), LT2 (r = 0.721) and distance per session (r = 0.563). Conclusion: The data highlight profound differences for key components of marathon running (VO2max, LT1, LT2, RE and % VO2max) within a group of recreational runners with the discriminating training variables being training frequency and the absolute training speed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: endurance running, nonelite, workout structures, maximal oxygen uptake, running economy, aerobic capacity
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Dr Dan Gordon
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 11:41
Last Modified: 10 May 2022 09:20

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