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The Age-Related Performance Decline in Ironman 70.3

Authors
  • Jäckel, Kristian
  • Sousa, Caio Victor
  • Villiger, Elias
  • Nikolaidis, Pantelis T.
  • Knechtle, Beat
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Mar 24, 2020
Volume
17
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17062148
PMID: 32213839
PMCID: PMC7143155
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Although the age-related decline in sport events has been well studied, little is known on such a decline in recreational triathletes for the Half Ironman distance. Indeed, the few existing studies concentrated on specific aspects such as top events, elite groups, some consecutive years, single locations, or age categories instead of analyzing all the data available. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine recreational triathletes’ performance in three split disciplines (swimming, cycling, and running) as well as in overall race time by analyzing all data of Half Ironman finishers found on ironman.com (i.e., 690 races; years 2004 through 2018; 206,524 women (24.6%) and 633,576 men (75.4%), in total 840,100 athletes). The age-dependent decline in Half Ironman started earliest in swimming (from the very first age group on) with a smallest age group delta between 35–49 years in men and 40–54 years in women. The performance decline started at 26 and 28 years in men and women for running; at 34 years for men and 35 years for women in cycling; and at 32 years for men and 31 years for women with regard to overall race time. The results may be used by coaches and recreational athletes alike to plan a triathlon career.

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