Pacing Strategy During 24-hour Ultramarathon-Distance Running

Bossi, Arthur and Matta, Guilherme G. and Millet, Guillaume Y. and Lima, Pedro and Pertence, Leonardo C. and de Lima, Jorge P. and Hopker, James G. (2017) Pacing Strategy During 24-hour Ultramarathon-Distance Running. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12 (5). pp. 590-596. ISSN 1555-0265. (doi: (Full text available)

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Purpose: This study aimed to describe pacing strategy in a 24-h ultramarathon-distance running race held on a flat course and its interaction with sex, age group and athletes’ performance group. Methods: Data from 398 male and 103 female participants in 5 consecutive editions were obtained based on a minimum 19.2-h (80% duration) active-running cut-off. Mean running speeds from each hour were percentage normalized to the total 24-h mean speed in order to eliminate the effect of between-runner differences in absolute speed. Results: Mean performance of all editions was 135.5 ± 33 km with a mean active-running time of 22.4 ± 1.3 h. Overall data showed a reverse J-shaped pacing strategy with the exception of a significant reduction in speed during the last hour. Two-way mixed ANOVA showed no significant interactions between racing time and sex (F = 1.57; P = 0.058) and racing time and age group (F = 1.25; P = 0.053), but significant interactions were found between racing time and performance group (F = 7.01; P < 0.001). Person’s product-moment correlations showed a moderate association between total running distance and normalized mean running speed in the first two hours (r = -0.58; P < 0.001) but not in the last two (r = 0.03; P = 0.480). Conclusions: In 24-h ultramarathons, while the general behaviour represents a reverse J-shaped pattern, the fastest runners started at lower normalized mean running speed, displaying a more even pacing strategy compared to the slower counterparts, regardless of sex and age group.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1235 Physiology of sports
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: James Hopker
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2016 11:04 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2018 14:08 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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