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Open access

Beat Knechtle, Barbara Baumann, Patrizia Knechtle, Andrea Wirth and Thomas Rosemann

A Comparison of Anthropometry between Ironman Triathletes and Ultra-swimmers

We intended to compare the anthropometry of male and female Ironman triathletes with the anthropometry of male and female ultra-swimmers. Body mass, body mass index and body fat were lower in both male and female triathletes compared to swimmers. Body height and length of limbs were no different between the two groups. In the multi-variate analysis, in male triathletes, body mass (p=0.015) and percent body fat (p=0.0003) were related to race time; percent body fat was also related to the swim split (p=0.0036). In male swimmers, length of the arm was related to race time (p=0.0089). In female triathletes and swimmers, none of the investigated anthropometric variables showed an association with race time. We concluded that Ironman triathletes and ultra-swimmers were different regarding anthropometry and that different anthropometric variables were related to race time. We assume that other factors, such as training and equipment, as opposed to anthropometry, may better predict race time in male and female Ironman triathletes.

Open access

Christoph Rüst, Beat Knechtle, Irena Joleska, Patrizia Knechtle, Andrea Wirth, Reinhard Imoberdorf, Oliver Senn and Thomas Rosemann

Is the Prevalence of Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Higher in Female than in Male 100-KM Ultra-Marathoners?

Purpose. The prevalence of exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH) has mainly been investigated in male endurance athletes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of EAH in female 100-km ultra-marathoners and to compare them to male ultra-runners since females are considered more at risk of EAH. Methods. Changes in body mass, hematocrit, [Na+] and [K+] levels in both plasma and urine, plasma volume, urine specific gravity, and the intake of energy, fluids and electrolytes was determined in 24 male and 19 female 100-km ultra-marathoners. Results. Three male (11%) and one female (5%) ultra-marathoners developed asymptomatic EAH. Body mass decreased, while plasma [Na+], plasma [K+] and hematocrit remained stable in either gender. Plasma volume, urine specific gravity and the potassium-to-sodium ratio in urine increased in either gender. In males, fluid intake was related to running speed (r = 0.50, p = 0.0081), but not to the change in body mass, in post-race plasma [Na+], in the change in hematocrit and in the change in plasma volume. Also in males, the change in hematocrit was related to both the change in plasma [Na+] (r = 0.45, p = 0.0187) and the change in the potassium-to-sodium ratio in urine (r = 0.39, p = 0.044). Sodium intake was neither related to post-race plasma [Na+] nor to the change in plasma volume. Conclusions. The prevalence of EAH was not higher in female compared to male 100-km ultra-marathoners. Plasma volume and plasma [Na+] were maintained and not related to fluid intake, most probably due to an activation of the reninangiotensin-aldosterone-system.