Int J Sports Med 2010; 31(2): 106-109
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1241863
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Body Composition of 161-km Ultramarathoners

M. D. Hoffman1 , D. K. Lebus2 , A. C. Ganong3 , G. A. Casazza2 , M. Van. Loan4
  • 1Department of Veterans Affairs, Northern California Health Care System, and University of California Davis Medical Center, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sacramento, United States
  • 2University of California Davis Medical Center, Sports Medicine Program, Sacramento, United States
  • 3University of California Davis Medical Center, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sacramento, United States
  • 4US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Davis, United States
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision September 23, 2009

Publication Date:
17 December 2009 (online)

Abstract

This study compares body composition characteristics with performance among participants in a 161-km trail ultramarathon. Height, mass, and percent body fat from bioimpedance spectroscopy were measured on 72 starters (17 women, 55 men). Correlation analyses were used to compare body characteristics with finish time, and unpaired t-tests were used to compare characteristics of finishers with non-finishers. Mean (±SD) BMI (kg · m−2) was 24.8±2.7 (range 19.1–32.2) for the men and 21.2±2.1 (range 18.1–26.7) for the women. Among the three fastest runners, BMI values ranged from 22.1 to 23.4 for men and 21.5 to 22.9 for women. Mean (±SD) percent body fat values for men and women were 17±5 (range 5–35) and 21±6 (range 10–29), and ranged from 6 to 14 and 14 to 27 among the fastest three men and women. There was a significant positive correlation (r2=0.23; p=0.0025) between percent body fat and finish time for men but not for women, and percent body fat values were lower for finishers than non-finishers for men (p=0.03) and women (p=0.04). We conclude that despite wide variations in BMI and percent body fat among ultramarathon participants, the faster men have lower percent body fat values than the slower men, and finishers have lower percent body fat values than non-finishers.

References

Correspondence

Dr. Martin D. Hoffman, MD 

Department of Veterans Affairs,

Northern California Health

Care System and University

of California Davis Medical

Center, Department of Physical

Medicine & Rehabilitation

10535 Hospital Way (117)

95655-1200 Sacramento,

California, United States

Phone: 916-843-9027

Fax: 916-843-7345

Email: martin.hoffman@va.gov