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Changes in transition times in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ between 1998 and 2013

Abstract : Background Recent findings showed that elite Ironman triathletes competing in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ improved both split and overall race times. The present study investigated whether elite athletes also improved in transition time (i.e. time needed between disciplines for changing clothes and equipment). Methods Changes in split times, overall race times and transition times (i.e. expressed in absolute and relative terms) in the annual fastest competing in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ were investigated using linear, non-linear and multi-level regression analyses. To detect a potential difference in transition times between different race distances, we compared transition times in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ to transition times in the World Championships ‘Ironman 70.3’ covering the half distance of the Ironman distance triathlon. Results In ‘Ironman Hawaii’, transition times remained unchanged for the annual fastest women but increased linearly for the annual fastest men. For the annual ten fastest, transition times increased linearly for women and men in both absolute and relative terms. The sex difference in transition times remained unchanged for the annual fastest, but decreased linearly for the annual ten fastest. In ‘Ironman 70.3’, transition times remained unchanged for the annual fastest. For the annual ten fastest, transition times decreased linearly for both women and men in absolute and relative terms. The sex difference in transition times remained unchanged for both the annual fastest and the annual ten fastest. Transition times were faster in ‘Ironman 70.3’ for women in 2011 and for men in 2006, 2007, and 2010-2013. In relative terms, transition times were faster in ‘Ironman 70.3’compared to ‘Ironman Hawaii’ during 2006-2013. The sex difference in transition times remained unchanged. Conclusions In ‘Ironman Hawaii’, transition times increased for both women and men whereas the sex difference decreased. In ‘Ironman 70.3’, transition times decreased for both women and men whereas the sex difference remained unchanged. Generally, transition times were slower in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ compared to ‘Ironman 70.3’.
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Christoph Rüst, Thomas Rosemann, Romuald Lepers, Beat Knechtle. Changes in transition times in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ between 1998 and 2013. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, BioMed Central, 2014, 6, pp.37. ⟨10.2466/30.06.PMS.116.2.690-706⟩. ⟨inserm-01196815⟩

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