Changes in Triathletes’ Performance and Body Composition During a Specific Training Period for a Half-Ironman Race

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Sergio Selles-Perez, Jose Fernandez-Saez, Alberto Ferriz-Valero, Jonathan Esteve-Lanao, Roberto Cejuela

The number of recreational athletes completing a Half-Ironman triathlon has increased exponentially in recent years. However, there is a lack of research on how to train for this kind of an event. The purpose of this study was thus to analyse triathletes’ changes in performance and body composition following a triathlon-specific training period. Fourteen male amateur triathletes completed a 7-week period of general training and a 13-week period of specific training for a Half-Ironman triathlon. Anthropometric measures and performance tests were carried out to assess the effects of the specific training program. Results showed that the pre-test value of VO2max for cycling was inversely correlated not only with the percentage of change in cycling performance, but also with the percentage change in several variables of running performance. In swimming, inverse correlations were observed between the time of the first 800 m test and the time percentage change for this test, but not with the percentage change in the performance of other segments of the race. Moreover, the somatotype component of endomorphy and the fat mass percentage of the first anthropometry were highly correlated with the percentage change in VO2max in the run segment. These results highlight the importance of providing individualised training, considering that the same training program had a different impact on recreational triathletes belonging to the same group. Amateur athletes with higher initial performance levels probably need a greater amount of training to achieve improved adaptation.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0077
Key words
endurance training, triathlon, anthropometry, performance

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