Waśkiewicz Zbigniew, Sadowska-Krępa Ewa, Kłapcińska Barbara, Jagsz Sławomir, Michalczyk Małgorzata, Kempa Katarzyna, Poprzęcki Stanisław and Gerasimuk Dagmara
Changes in the Blood Antioxidant Defense Capacity During a 24 Hour Run
The objective of this study was to determine whether running a 24-h race would cause oxidative damage and changes in the blood antioxidant defense capacity in endurance-trained athletes. Fourteen male amateur runners (mean age 43.0±10.8 y, body weight 64.3±7.2 kg height 171±5 cm, weekly covered distance 81±43 km, training history 8±9 y) who participated in a 24-hr ultra-marathon and volunteered to give blood samples during the race were enrolled for this study. Blood samples were taken before the run, after completing the marathon distance (42.217 km), after 12 h and at the conclusion of the race.
The capacity of erythrocyte antioxidant defense system was evaluated by measuring the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), concentrations of non-enzymatic antioxidants (uric acid and glutathione-GSH), and selected biomarkers of oxidative stress (i.e., plasma level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and plasma antioxidant capacity by FRAP ("ferric-reducing ability of plasma")). Moreover, in order to elucidate between-group differences in the total capacity of the blood antioxidant defense system, an index of antioxidant potential (POTAOX) was calculated as a sum of standardized values of activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GPX, GR) and non-enzymatic antioxidants (uric acid, GSH).
A progressive decline was observed in activities of SOD and CAT with the distance covered during the race, while the opposite trend was found in activities of GPX and GR that tended to increase. A significant decrease was recorded in GSH content after completing the marathon distance, which tended toward slightly higher values, without reaching the baseline level, at the finish of the race. Plasma concentration of uric acid (UA) was not significantly affected, except for the value recorded after 12 h of running that was significantly (p<0.05) lower, while both markers of oxidative stress (FRAP and MDA) increased significantly after completing the marathon distance. Comparison of the calculated values of the POTAOX index recorded pre-race and throughout the competition implies that the most drastic decline in the total antioxidant capacity occurred at mid-race (i.e. after 12 h of running).
Beat Knechtle, Caio Victor de Sousa, Herbert Gustavo Simões, Thomas Rosemann and Pantelis Theodoros Nikolaidis
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the performance level and race distance on pacing in ultra-triathlons (Double, Triple, Quintuple and Deca), wherein pacing is defined as the relative time (%) spent in each discipline (swimming, cycling and running). All finishers (n = 3,622) of Double, Triple, Quintuple and Deca Iron ultra-triathlons between 1985 and 2016 were analysed and classified into quartile groups (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4) with Q1 being the fastest and Q4 the slowest. Performance of all non-finishers (n = 1,000) during the same period was also examined. Triple and Quintuple triathlons (24.4%) produced the highest rate of non-finishers, and Deca Iron ultra-triathlons produced the lowest rate (18.0%) (χ2 = 12.1, p = 0.007, φC = 0.05). For the relative swimming and cycling times (%), Deca triathletes (6.7 ± 1.5% and 48.8 ± 4.9%, respectively) proved the fastest and Double (9.2 ± 1.6% and 49.6 ± 3.6%) Iron ultra-triathletes were the slowest (p < 0.008) with Q4 being the fastest group (8.3 ± 1.6% and 48.8 ± 4.3%) and Q1 the slowest one (9.5 ± 1.5% and 50.9 ± 3.0%) (p < 0.001). In running, Double triathletes were relatively the fastest (41.2 ± 4.0%) and Deca (44.5 ± 5.4%) Iron ultra-triathletes the slowest (p < 0.001) with Q1 being the fastest (39.6 ± 3.3%) and Q4 the slowest group (42.9 ± 4.7%) (p < 0.001). Based on these findings, it was concluded that the fastest ultra-triathletes spent relatively more time swimming and cycling and less time running, highlighting the importance of the role of the latter discipline for the overall ultra-triathlon performance. Furthermore, coaches and ultra-triathletes should be aware of differences in pacing between Double, Triple, Quintuple and Deca Iron triathlons.
Reto Lenherr, Beat Knechtle, Christoph Rüst, Thomas Rosemann and Romuald Lepers
From Double Iron to Double Deca Iron Ultra-Triathlon - A Retrospective Data Analysis from 1985 to 2011
Participation in ultra-endurance performance is of increasing popularity. We analyzed the historic development of the ultra-triathlon scene from 1985 to 2011 focusing on a) worldwide distribution of competition, b) participation, c) gender, and d) athlete nationality. We examined the participation trends of 3,579 athletes, involving 3,297 men (92.1%) and 300 women (7.9%), using linear regression analyses. Between 1985 and 2011, a total of 96 Double Iron ultra-triathlons (7.6km swimming, 360km cycling, and 84.4km running), 51 Triple Iron ultra-triathlons (11.6km swimming, 540km cycling, and 126.6km running), five Quadruple Iron ultra-triathlons (15.2km swimming, 720km cycling, and 168.8km running), five Quintuple Iron ultra-triathlons (19km swimming, 900km cycling, and 211km running), 11 Deca Iron ultra-triathlons (38km swimming, 1,800km cycling, and 422km running), and two Double Deca Iron ultra-triathlons (76km swimming, 3,600km cycling, and 844km running) were held. In total, 56.7% of the races were in Europe, 37.4% in North America, 5.3% in South America, and less than 1% in Asia. Europeans comprised 80% of the athletes. The number of male participants in Double (r2 = .56; P < .001) and Triple Iron ultra-triathlon (r2 = .47; P < .001) and the number of female participants in Double Iron ultra-triathlon (r2 = .66; P < .001) increased significantly. Less than 8% of the athletes total participated in an ultra-triathlon longer than a Triple Iron ultra-triathlon. Europeans won by far the most competitions in every distance. In conclusion, ultra-triathlon popularity is mainly limited to a) European and North American men and b) Double and Triple Iron ultra-triathlons. Future studies need to investigate the motivation of these ultra-endurance athletes to compete in these extreme races.
Beat Knechtle, Tristan Vinzent, Steve Kirby, Patrizia Knechtle and Thomas Rosemann
The Recovery Phase Following a Triple Iron Triathlon
The purpose of this case study was to investigate the recovery phase in a single athlete after a Triple Iron Triathlon involving 11.4 km swimming, 540 km cycling and 126.6 km running. Total body mass, body fat and skeletal muscle mass using the anthropometric method as well as total body water using bioelectrical impedance analysis were determined pre race, after the race and every 24 hours until complete recovery. Parameters of hydration status (urinary specific gravity, hematocrit and plasma sodium) and skeletal muscle damage (plasma urea) were measured at the same time. After finishing the race within 42 hours, total body mass was decreased and total body water was increased. Over the following 6 days, prior to returning to pre race values for plasma volume and total body water, body mass reached a peak value on day 3, plasma volume on day 2 and total body water on day 1. Clinically visible edemas of the feet persisted until day 4. Six days after the race, body mass was reduced by 2.1 kg, skeletal muscle mass by 0.6 kg and fat mass by 0.7 kg. An increase in both blood urea and urinary output post race between days 3 and 6 suggested an impairment of renal function immediately post race due to skeletal muscle damage and manifesting clinically observed edemas. For practical application, athletes, coaches and physicians should anticipate that performing such an ultra-endurance race can lead to considerable edemas of the lower limbs during the recovery phase.