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Age-related changes in ultra-triathlon performances

DOI: 10.1186/2046-7648-1-5

Keywords: Swimming, Cycling, Running, Ultra-endurance

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Abstract:

The age and performances of 423 male Triple Iron ultra-triathletes and 119 male Deca Iron ultra-triathletes were analysed from 1992 to 2010 using regression analyses and ANOVA.The mean age of the finishers was significantly higher for Deca Iron ultra-triathletes (41.3?±?3.1 years) compared to a Triple Iron ultra-triathletes (38.5?±?3.3 years) (P?<?0.05). For both ultra-distances, the fastest overall race times were achieved between the ages of 25 and 44 years. Deca Iron ultra-triathletes achieved the same level of performance in swimming and cycling between 25 and 54 years of age.The magnitudes of age-related declines in performance in the three disciplines of ultra-triathlon differ slightly between Triple and Deca Iron ultra-triathlon. Although the ages of Triple Iron ultra-triathletes were on average younger compared to Deca Iron ultra-triathletes, the fastest race times were achieved between 25 and 44 years for both distances. Further studies should investigate the motivation and training of ultra-triathletes to gain better insights in ultra-triathlon performance.In recent years, there has been an increased interest in investigating the effect of aging on endurance running performances [1-6]. Over the last decades, the participation of master athletes (>40 years old) has increased, especially in the longer run distances such as half marathons [2,3], marathons [1-3] and ultra-marathons [7-10]. However, with increasing age, the endurance performance decreases. In general, the peak endurance performance is maintained until the age of 30 to 35 years, followed by a moderate decline until the age of 50 to 60 years, and then a progressively steeper decline after the age of 70 to 75 years, independent of the length of the performance and the kind of the discipline [2-6,11-16].Considering the age-related decline in male ultra-endurance athletes, Hoffman investigated ultra-marathoners competing over 161 kilometres [7-9]. Beyond the age of 30 to 39 years, the average finish

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