Changes in lung function during an extreme mountain ultramarathon

G. Vernillo, N. Rinaldo, A. Giorgi, F. Esposito, P. Trabucchi, G. P. Millet, F. Schena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to assess the effects of an extreme mountain ultramarathon (MUM, 330km, 24000 D+) on lung function. Twenty-nine experienced male ultramarathon runners performed longitudinally [before (pre), during (mid), and immediately after (post) a MUM] a battery of pulmonary function tests. The tests included measurements of forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1s, peak flow, inspiratory capacity, and maximum voluntary ventilation in 12s (MVV12). A significant reduction in the running speed was observed (-43.0% between pre-mid and mid-post; P12 declined at mid (P12 pre-race (R=-0.54, P=0.02) as well as changes in MVV12 between pre- and post-race (R=-0.53, P=0.009). It is concluded that during an extreme MUM, a continuous decline in pulmonary function was observed, likely attributable to the high levels of ventilation required during this MUM in a harsh mountainous environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e374-e380
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Fatigue
  • Pulmonary function
  • Respiratory muscle
  • Spirometry
  • Ultra trail
  • Ultra-endurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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