Pacing strategies in Berlin Marathon from 2004 to 2019
Keywords:pacing strategies, high-level runners, marathon
This study aimed to investigate the pacing strategies used by men and women in the Berlin Marathon between 2004 and 2019. The records of the first 20 male and female athletes were analysed. The sample was divided into seven groups: world record, champions group (men and woman), 2nd to 5th place group (men and woman) and 6th to 20th place group (men and woman). The time taken in the eight partials of 5 km and the partial of 2,195 km were converted into seconds to calculate the speed in meters per second. To analyse the pacing strategy, the speed in each partial was normalised by the average speed in the test. One-way ANOVA was used to verify possible differences between the groups in each partial. For the analysis of the pacing strategy of each group, the intra-group repeated measures ANOVA was used. World record men used a constant pacing strategy (p= 0.98). The champions groups, male and female, also used a constant pacing strategy (p> 0.108). The 2nd to 5th placed groups of both sexes presented a positive pacing strategy (men p= 0.001–0.007; women p= 0.00–0.04). Likewise, the athletes from the 6th to 20th place male and female groups also presented a positive pacing strategy (men p< 0.001; women p< 0.001). No differences were found in the pacing strategy between winning men and women. We conclude that the constant pacing strategy is the reason that made possible the best success in the Berlin Marathon; both the record holders and the champions used it.
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