Worried about the training time commitment involved? Concerned how long it might take you to stand up without fainting afterwards? Fear not.
In a comprehensive study of 25 men competing in an Ironman, Austrian researchers uncovered some startling physiological insights into training and recovery from the combined effects of swimming 3.9 kilometers (2.4 miles), cycling 180.2 km (112 miles) and then running the standard marathon distance of 42.2 km (26.2 miles).
Writing in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the Austrians said faster finishers trained more per week than others, but that contrary to expectations their sympathetic nervous systems were less active than expected, which contributed to a fast recovery.
13 hemodynamic, autonomic measures point to unexpectedly quick recovery
Researchers from the Medical University of Graz, Austria, measured 13 hemodynamic and autonomic parameters from blood pressure changes to heart beat stroke strength, as well as clinical data, including weekly net exercise training (WNET) time.
Knowing that it takes about two weeks for muscles and tendons to recover after an Ironman, the Austrian authors wrote in the Journal of Applied Physiology: "We hypothesized that this extreme endurance exercise would lead to long-standing hemodynamic impairment and sympathetic activation."
Looking at this multitude of parameters from before the competition, they "were prepared to study them for as long afterwards as it would take for full recovery." In addition, they were interested in "the possibility of predicting competition performance from the baseline" or pre-competition measurement levels. The results of time-to-recovery a
Contact: Mayer Resnick
American Physiological Society