Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function in response to 10 marathons in 10 days

Tiller, Nicholas B., Turner, Louise A ORCID: 0000-0002-0153-7075 and Taylor, Bryan J. (2019) Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function in response to 10 marathons in 10 days. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119 (2). pp. 509-518. doi:10.1007/s00421-018-4037-2

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Purpose: Marathon and ultramarathon provoke respiratory muscle fatigue and pulmonary dysfunction; nevertheless, it is unknown how the respiratory system responds to multiple, consecutive days of endurance exercise. Methods: Nine trained individuals (six male) contested 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days. Respiratory muscle strength (maximum static inspiratory and expiratory mouth-pressures), pulmonary function (spirometry), perceptual ratings of respiratory muscle soreness (Visual Analogue Scale), breathlessness (dyspnea, modified Borg CR10 scale), and symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI), were assessed before and after marathons on days 1, 4, 7, and 10. Results: Group mean time for 10 marathons was 276 ± 35 min. Relative to pre-challenge baseline (159 ± 32 cmH2O), MEP was reduced after day 1 (136 ± 31 cmH2O, p = 0.017), day 7 (138 ± 42 cmH2O, p = 0.035), and day 10 (130 ± 41 cmH2O, p = 0.008). There was no change in pre-marathon MEP across days 1, 4, 7, or 10 (p > 0.05). Pre-marathon forced vital capacity was significantly diminished at day 4 (4.74 ± 1.09 versus 4.56 ± 1.09 L, p = 0.035), remaining below baseline at day 7 (p = 0.045) and day 10 (p = 0.015). There were no changes in FEV1, FEV1/FVC, PEF, MIP, or respiratory perceptions during the course of the challenge (p > 0.05). In the 15-day post-challenge period, 5/9 (56%) runners reported symptoms of URTI, relative to 1/9 (11%) pre-challenge. Conclusions: Single-stage marathon provokes acute expiratory muscle fatigue which may have implications for health and/or performance, but 10 consecutive days of marathon running does not elicit cumulative (chronic) changes in respiratory function or perceptions of dyspnea. These data allude to the robustness of the healthy respiratory system.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ultramarathon; Endurance; Lung function; Fatigue
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP301.H75 Physiology. Sport
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2020 11:01
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:08
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/8847

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