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Article Dans Une Revue Frontiers in Physiology Année : 2019

Sex Difference in Triathlon Performance



This brief review investigates how sex influences triathlon performance. Performance time for both Olympic distance and Ironman distance triathlons, and physiological considerations are discussed for both elite and non-elite male and female triathletes. The relative participation of female athletes in triathlon has increased over the last three decades, and currently represents 25-40% of the total field. Overall, the sex difference in both Olympic and Ironman distance triathlon performance has narrowed across the years. Sex difference differed with exercise mode and exercise duration. For non-elite Ironman triathletes, the sex difference in swimming time (≈12%) is lower than that which was evidenced for cycling (≈15%) and running (≈18%). For elite triathletes, sex difference in running performance is greater for Olympic triathlon (≈14%) than it is for Ironman distance triathlon (≈7%). Elite Ironman female triathletes have reduced the gap to their male counterparts to less than 10% for the marathon. The sex difference in triathlon performance is likely to be due to physiological (e.g. VO2max) and morphological (e.g. % body fat) factors but hormonal, psychological and societal (e.g. lower participation rate) differences should also be considered. Future studies should address the limited evidence relating sex difference in physiological characteristics such as lactate threshold, exercise economy or peak fat oxidation.

Dates et versions

hal-02332196 , version 1 (24-10-2019)



Romuald Lepers. Sex Difference in Triathlon Performance. Frontiers in Physiology, 2019, 10, pp.973. ⟨10.3389/fphys.2019.00973⟩. ⟨hal-02332196⟩
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