Pace Versus Prediction: Is the Sex of the Runner Associated With Marathon Success?

Scruton, Adrian and Basevitch, Itay and Roberts, Justin D. and Biggins, Joe and Merzbach, Viviane and Gordon, Dan (2016) Pace Versus Prediction: Is the Sex of the Runner Associated With Marathon Success? In: American College of Sports Medicine 63rd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.

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PURPOSE: The ability to regulate effort (pace) is ascribed to the ability to make prospective judgments regarding the metabolic demands of the exercise challenge against personal metabolic capacity. Thus pace modulations which are dependent on knowing an exercise end-point are a function of biologically and cognitively orchestrated afferent signals and the homeostatically orientated efferent responses are manifest to prevent a depletion of the finite anaerobic capacity and onset of fatigue. The purpose of this study was to examine the pacing strategies adopted during a marathon and to explore whether there was a difference in outcome between males and females. METHOD: Following local institutional ethical approval n= 777 runners competing in the 2015 London Marathon volunteered and agreed to participate of which n= 393 were females and n= 384 were males. Using an online survey, available for 12 weeks up to the marathon and opportunistic sampling at the pre-marathon registration, participants were also asked to predict race time. Additional information regarding age and experience (number of marathons) were also obtained. Prediction time (PT) served as a proxy of end target time. For each participant 5km splits and finish time (FT) were converted to speed and then normalised (%) to the final split time/speed (m.s-1). RESULTS: A significant difference (P= 0.0001) of 476s was observed between PT and FT for the whole group compared to differences of 531 s (p= 0.000) and 419s (P= 0.000) for the males and females respectively. Both males (P= 0.0001) and females (P= 0.0001) showed significant differences between PT and FT. Males exhibited differences in pace for all 5km splits (P= 0.0001) except 5-10km (P= 0.483), large ES between 25-30km (r= 0.319) and 30-35km (r= 0.426), pace decreased from 107.4 ± 7.8% (5km) to 91.2 ± 7.1% (40km), compared to 109.1 ± 8.6% (5km) to 93.2 ± 6.5% (40km) for females. Females exhibited differences across all 5km splits (P= 0.0001) except between 35-40km (P= 1.000) with medium ES for 20-25km (r= 0.243) and 30-35km (r= 0.313). CONCLUSIONS: There is no difference between male and female marathon pacing strategies suggesting that the pacing template is not sex specific. Furthermore these data lend support to the notion that there is not an unfair advantage for females to be paced or race with males.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Keywords: marathon
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 12:42
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:14

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