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Variability in energy cost of running at the end of a triathlon and a marathon

Abstract : The aim of this study was to investigate the increase in energy cost of running occurring at the end of a triathlon and a marathon event and to link them to the metabolic and hormonal changes, as well as to variations in stride length. Seven subjects took part in 3 experimental situations: a 2 h 15 min triathlon (30 min swimming, 60 min cycling and 45 min running), a 2 h 15 min marathon (MR) were the fast 45 min were run at the same speed as the triathlon run (TR), and a 45 min isolated run (IR) done at triathlon speed. The results show that energy cost during MR was higher than during TR (p < 0.01) (+ 8.9 %). Similar observations were made for pulmonary ventilation (+ 7.9 %) and heart rate (+ 6.3 %). Moreover, the values were significantly greater than the values obtained during the IR. TR and MR lead to greater weight loss (p < 0.01) (2.4±0.3 kg) than IR (1 ± 0.2 kg). The triathlon and the marathon produced a large decrease in plasma volume (respectively 19.6 ± 1.4 % and 12.9 ± 1.1 %) compared to IR (2 ± 0.4 %). Plasma renin activity was higher for the triathlon and the marathon than for the IR (p < 0.01). MR produces a significantly greater increase in plasma free fatty acids (F.F.A.) than TR (p < 0.05) and IR (p < 0.01). In addition, the F.F.A. at the end of TR were significantly higher than IR (p < 0.05). At the end of the trial the mean stride lengths for TR and IR were greater (+ 15 %) (p <0.01) than for MR. This study, carried out with subjects running overground, confirms the decrease in running efficiency previously shown at the end of a laboratory triathlon, and demonstrates that this decrease is lower than that occurring during a marathon.
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Christophe Hausswirth, A. Xavier Bigard, M. Berthelot, M. Thomaïdis, C. Y. Guezennec. Variability in energy cost of running at the end of a triathlon and a marathon. International Journal of Sports Medicine, Thieme Publishing, 1996, 17 (8), pp.572 - 579. ⟨hal-01781727⟩

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