Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Skin-fold thickness and race performance in male mountain ultra-marathoners

Beat Knechtle, Thomas Rosemann



Recent studies showed in high level runners both an association between selected skin-fold thicknesses at the lower limb and running performance and between thickness of skin-fold and training. We investigated the association of skin-fold thicknesses with total race time in 25 male mountain ultra-marathoners with 44.5 (7.0) years, 73.0 (7.8) kg body mass, 1.78 (0.07) m body height and a BMI of 22.9 (1.8) kg/m2 in a 7-day mountain ultra-marathon over 350 km with 11,000 m of altitude. The relationship of skin-fold thickness and both intensity and volume during training with total race time as the dependent variable was investigated using multiple linear regression analysis. A significant association of the calf skin-fold with total race time was found (r2 = 0.19, p < 0.05). No relationship between skin-fold thickness and both average running speed and volume in training could be demonstrated. We concluded that the calf skin-fold showed a small to moderate association with total race time, however, the thickness of calf skin-fold was not related to training parameters.


Anthropometry; Percent body fat; Ultra-Endurance


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