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Changes in Contributions of Swim, Cycle, and Run Performances on Overall Triathlon Performance over a 26-year period

Abstract : This study examined the changes in the individual contribution of each discipline to the overall performance of Olympic and Ironman distance triathlons among males and females. Between 1989 and 2013, overall performances and their component disciplines (swim, cycle, run) were analyzed from the top 50 overall male and female finishers. Regression analyses determined that for the Olympic distance, the split times in swimming and running decreased over the years (r = 0.25 - 0.43, p < 0.05), while the cycle split and total time remained unchanged (p > 0.05), for both sexes. For the Ironman distance, the cycling and running splits, and total time decreased (r = 0.19 - 0.88, p < 0.05) while swimming time remained stable, for both males and females. The average contribution of the swim stage (∼18%) was smaller than the cycle and run stages (p < 0.05), for both distances and both sexes. Running (∼47%) and then cycling (∼36%) had the greatest contribution to overall performance for the Olympic distance (∼47%), while for the Ironman distance, cycling and running presented similar contributions (∼40%, p > 0.05). Across the years, in the Olympic distance, swimming contribution significantly decreased for females and males (r = 0.51 and 0.68, p < 0.001, respectively), while running increased for males (r = 0.33, p = 0.014). In the Ironman distance, swim and cycle contributions changed in an undulating fashion, being inverse between the two segments, for both sexes (p < 0.01), while running contribution decreased for males only (r = 0.61, p = 0.001). These findings highlight that strategies to improve running performance should be the main focus on the preparation to compete in the Olympic distance. Whereas in the Ironman both cycling and running are decisive and should be well developed.
Keywords : Human performance
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Soumis le : vendredi 10 juin 2016 - 16:03:09
Dernière modification le : dimanche 4 septembre 2022 - 10:40:01




Pedro Figueiredo, Elisa A Marques, Romuald Lepers. Changes in Contributions of Swim, Cycle, and Run Performances on Overall Triathlon Performance over a 26-year period. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2016, 30 (9), pp.2406-2415. ⟨10.1519/JSC.0000000000001335⟩. ⟨hal-01330433⟩



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