Myrsini S. Kolyfa, Nikolaos D. Geladas, Georgios P. Paradisis, Polyxeni Argeitaki, Anastasia Tzimou, Elias D. Zacharogiannis


The recent worldwide popularity of trail running has raised the necessity of studying the physiological profile of this sport. Although trail running races are long distance endurance events, the variety of their terrain, incline and duration prevents the application of the classical predictive model of level running. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and anthropometric parameters that determine short trail race performance. Twenty-five moderately trained trail runners participated in a 15 km trail running race, consisting of 9 km positive and 6 km negative incline. Four days after the race they followed a laboratory protocol for the measurement and estimation of anthropometric and physiological parameters (maximal oxygen uptake, velocity at maximal oxygen uptake, ventilatory threshold, velocity at ventilatory threshold, running economy, flexibility, muscle power, aerobic capacity). The results revealed high correlations between the 15 km race performance and velocity at maximal oxygen uptake (r = 0.81), ventilatory threshold (r = 0.88), muscle power of knee extensor (r = 0.50 – 0.53), anaerobic capacity (r = 0.65) and body fat percentage (r = 0.7). Another two parameters that were highly correlated with the 15 km mountain trail race performance were both the positive and negative incline time (r = 0.95 and r = 0.96, respectively). Our conclusions confirmed previous findings that performance in trail running cannot be predicted with the same variable model as level running.


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level running predictive model; maximal oxygen uptake; muscle power; trail running; ventilatory threshold

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