Anthropometric characteristics of top-class Kenyan marathon runners

G. Vernillo, F. Schena, C. Berardelli, G. Rosa, C. Galvani, M. Maggioni, L. Agnello, A. L A Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aim. This study aims to: 1) describe the current anthropometric profiles of Kenyan marathon runners and 2) establish a set of reference values useful for future investigations on athlete selection, talent identification, and training programme development. Methods. The participants were 14 male top-class Kenyan marathon runners (mean [s] age 27.71 [3.75] yrs, height 171.21 [6.12] cm, body mass 57.71 [4.02] kg, marathon personal best 02h 07min 16s (01min 55s); training volume: 180-220 km-wk-1; high:low intensity training ratio: 1:2). The anthropometric profiles included the measurement of skinfolds, and segment lengths, breadths, and girths. To estimate body density (BD) multiple regression equations were calculated using the sum of 7-skinfolds method and then converted to percentage of body fat (%BF). The somatotype, somatotype dispersion mean (SDM), somatotype attitudinal mean (SAM), and height to weight ratio (HWR) as well as the skinfolds extremity to trunk ratio (E:T) were also calculated. Results. The mean (s) of BD, %BF, SDM, SAM, HWR and E:T were 1.13 (0.02), 8.87 (0.07) %, 4.58 (3.62), 0.51 (0.09), 44.32 (1.06), and 0.36 (0.11), respectively. The mean (s) endomorphy, mesomorphy, and ectomorphy were 1.53 (0.32), 1.61 (1.81), and 3.86 (0.78), respectively. Conclusion. Top-class Kenyan marathon runners seem to have ectomorphy as dominant, with endomorphy and mesomorphy more than one-half unit lower. Despite population comparisons would be required to identify any connection between specific anthropometric dimensions, these reference data should be useful to practitioners and researchers, providing useful information for talent identification and development and for the assessment of training progression in marathon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Volume53
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Anthropometry -
  • Body size
  • Running -

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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  • Cite this

    Vernillo, G., Schena, F., Berardelli, C., Rosa, G., Galvani, C., Maggioni, M., Agnello, L., & Torre, A. L. A. (2013). Anthropometric characteristics of top-class Kenyan marathon runners. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 53(4), 403-408.