Introduction: The aim of this study was anthropometric and physiological characterisation of male and female adventure racing athletes (ARs), and also to compare top and bottom finishers in the Adventure Racing World Championship (ARWC) 2006.
Methods: The physiological profile was developed from oxygen uptake during submaximal and maximal exercise on treadmill, cycle- and kayakergometers. The characterisation study included 15 male and 9 female ARs. Additional anthropometric measurements were obtained from 128 participants in the ARWC.
Results: The anthropometrics for male ARs were: [mean (95% confidence interval)] age 33 (32-34) years, height 180 (179-181) cm, body mass (BM) 79.4 (78.1-80.7) kg, body fat 17.1 (16.5-17.7) % of BM. Corresponding values for female ARs were: age 31 (30-32) years, height 165 (163-167) cm, BM 61.6 (59.8-63.4) kg, body fat 24.7 (23.6-25.8) % of BM. The men's peak oxygen uptakes were: running 5.02 (4.82-5.22), cycling 4.99 (4.80-5.18), and kayaking 4.05 (3.84-4.26) L/min. Corresponding values for the women were: running 3.26 (3.02-3.50), cycling 3.27 (3.05-3.47), and kayaking 2.59 (2.34-2.84) L/min. The characterized ARs had fractional utilisation in the order: running > cycling > kayaking (best trained in running), indicating that a shift in training regime in favour of kayak training could result in better overall performance. Top male finishers in the ARWC were taller, heavier, had a higher BMI and a trend towards higher body fat than bottom finishers, while there were no such differences among the women. The ARs display a distinct profile, in both anthropometric and physiological aspects, which differs from the specialist athletes'. The ARs have to balance a wide variety of demands, such as sufficient endogenous storage of fat and high ability to carry, against sustained ability to run and perform other BM related tasks.
18th European College of Sport Sciences (ECSS) Congress 26-29 June 2013 Barcelona