Purpose: We intended to determine predictor variables of anthropometry and training for marathon race time in recreational female runners in order to predict marathon race time for future novice female runners.
Methods: Anthropometric characteristics such as body mass, body height, body mass index, circumferences of limbs, thicknesses of skin-folds and body fat as well as training variables such as volume and speed in running training were related to marathon race time using bi- and multi-variate analysis in 29 female runners.
Results: The marathoners completed the marathon distance within 251 (26) min, running at a speed of 10.2 (1.1) km/h. Body mass (r=0.37), body mass index (r=0.46), the circumferences of thigh (r=0.51) and calf (r=0.41), the skin-fold thicknesses of front thigh (r=0.38) and of medial calf (r=0.40), the sum of eight skin-folds (r=0.44) and body fat percentage (r=0.41) were related to marathon race time. For the variables of training, maximal distance ran per week (r=- 0.38), number of running training sessions per week (r=- 0.46) and the speed of the training sessions (r= - 0.60) were related to marathon race time. In the multi-variate analysis, the circumference of calf (P=0.02) and the speed of the training sessions (P=0.0014) were related to marathon race time. Marathon race time might be partially (r(2)=0.50) predicted by the following equation: Race time (min)=184.4 + 5.0 x (circumference calf, cm) -11.9 x (speed in running during training, km/h) for recreational female marathoners.
Conclusions: Variables of both anthropometry and training were related to marathon race time in recreational female marathoners and cannot be reduced to one single predictor variable. For practical applications, a low circumference of calf and a high running speed in training are associated with a fast marathon race time in recreational female runners.
Keywords: Body Fat; Gender; Limb Circumference; Marathon; Skin-fold; Training.