Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > Articles online first > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Sep 03

CURRENT ISSUE
 

JOURNAL TOOLS

eTOC
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian
 

ARTICLE TOOLS

Publication history
Reprints
Permissions
Cite this article as
Share

 

 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Sep 03

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11198-8

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A descriptive study on health, training and social aspects of adults that participated in ultra endurance running as youth athletes

Volker SCHEER 1 , Caio V. SOUSA 2, David VALERO 1, Beat KNECHTLE 3, 4, Pantelis T. NIKOLAIDIS 5, Encarna VALERO 6

1 Ultra Sports Science Foundation, Pierre-Bénite, France; 2 Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 3 Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 4 Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, St. Gallen, Switzerland; 5 Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Nikaia, Greece; 6 Vinalopo Hopsital, Elche, Spain


PDF


BACKGROUND: Ultra running is popular among youth athletes (< 19 years of age), with an exponential increase in participation over the last years. If running extreme distances during such a young age has implications in adulthood is currently unknown.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective survey study investigating adults that participated in ultra endurance running as youth athletes, describing running history, health and social data. Seventyeight participants (mean age of 38.0±12.0) completed the survey.
RESULTS: Most participants were male (83.3%), white Caucasians (92.3%), originated from the USA (89.7%), were married (57.7%), with no children (52.6%), and had a university degree (79.5%). Age at first ultra was 16.1 years (± 2.3), with an average number of 3.7 ultras (± 5.5), predominantly over 50 km (1.5 ± 3.3) and 50 miles (1.21 ± 2.0). Musculoskeletal injuries occurred in 23.1% of youth athletes, and stress fractures in 6.4%. The main reason to stop running ultras were injuries (28.6%). The majority (93.6%) of youth athletes continued running into adulthood; however only 26.9% continued running ultras. Training load was significantly (p<0.001) reduced from 57.4±33.2 km/w in youth athletes to 30.1±36.8 km/w in adulthood. High risk of exercise addiction was observed in 11.5%.
CONCLUSIONS: Most participants reported positive effects from running ultras as youth athletes (69.2%), but only 20.5% would recommend youth athletes participation in ultras. It may be prudent to be cautious about allowing general participation of youth athletes in ultra running until further evidence of its long-term effects on health and safety is available.


KEY WORDS: Ultramarathon; Adolescent; Children; Exercise addiction; Stress fracture; Injury

top of page