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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Dec 03

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11388-4

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Elite 100 km road ultramarathon runners: characteristics and musculoskeletal injuries

Pavao VLAHEK 1, 5, Valentina MATIJEVIĆ 2, Juraj HAVAŠ 3, Dario DILBER 4 , Jurica VERONEK 5, Vedran BALTA 6

1 Polyclinic Medikol, North Varaždin, Varaždin, Croatia; 2 Department of Rheumatology, Physical medicine and Rehabilitation, Clinical Hospital Center Sestre Milosrdnice, University, Zagreb, Croatia; 3 University of Zagreb, School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia; 4 Deparment of Cardiology, County Hospital Čakovec, Čakovec, Croatia; 5 University North Varaždin, Varaždin, Croatia; 6 Division of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


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BACKGROUND: Currently known data about ultramarathon medical issues has been collected from all combinations of ultramarathon race types (road, trail..) and the population in those studies consists of mixed elite and recreational athletes. There are few studies concerning injuries related to musculoskeletal system injuries in ultramarathon runners.
METHODS: The study was conducted on total of 77 elite ultramarathoners based on a questionnaire-based survey. We studied the elite male and female athletes who participated in 30th IAU 100 km World Championships held in the year 2018, in Croatia.
RESULTS: Ultramarathon runners have higher percentage of lower leg injuries and rehabilitation of those injuries tend to last longer as ultramarathon runners show specific training habits with less days off and hold a permanent, full time job and often with a higher academic degree. Also on average, they are older.
CONCLUSIONS: It would appear that ultramarathon runners have a higher percentage of lower leg injuries than runners who don't run distances beyond a marathon. In addition, rehabilition tends to last longer. This may well be correlated also to their specific training loads with fewer days off and training whilst holding a permanent full time job. Often they also hold a higher academic degree with years spent in the education system which might influence their mindsets on the medical issues they encounter. Also, being older on average may also have a bearing on injury occurrence and rehabilitation time.


KEY WORDS: Elite ultramarathoners; Characteristics; Musculoskeletal injuries

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