European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 111, Issue 8, pp 1687–1694

Age-related changes in conventional road versus off-road triathlon performance

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1805-z

Cite this article as:
Lepers, R. & Stapley, P.J. Eur J Appl Physiol (2011) 111: 1687. doi:10.1007/s00421-010-1805-z


The aims of this study were: (i) to analyze age-related declines in swimming, cycling, and running performances for road-based and off-road triathlons, and (ii) to compare age-related changes in these three disciplines between road-based and off-road triathlons. Swimming, cycling, running and total time performances of the top five males between 20 and 70 years of age (in 5-year intervals) were analyzed for short distance road-based (1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle, and 10 km run) and off-road (1.5 km swim, 30 km mountain bike, and 11 km trail run) triathlons at the 2009 World Championships. Independently of age, there was a lesser age-related decline in cycling performance (P < 0.01) compared to running and swimming for road-based triathlon. In contrast, age-related decline did not differ between the three locomotion modes for off-road triathlon. With advancing age, the performance decline was less pronounced (P < 0.01) for road-based than for off-road triathlon in swimming (≥65 years), cycling (≥50 years), running (≥60 years), and total event (≥55 years) times, respectively. These results suggest that the rate of the decline in performance for off-road triathlon is greater than for road-based triathlon, indicating that the type of discipline (road vs. mountain bike cycling and road vs. trail running) exerts an important influence on the magnitude of the age-associated changes in triathlon performance.


Master athlete Swimming Cycling Mountain biking Running Xterra® 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INSERM U887, Faculty of Sport SciencesUniversity of BurgundyDijon CedexFrance
  2. 2.Balance and Voluntary Movement Lab, Department of Kinesiology and Physical EducationMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations