Bioenergetics and psychological profile of an ultra endurance walker

BACKGROUND: Ultra endurance walking provides athletes with significant physiological and psychological challenges. In this study ultra endurance walking races are intended as events where the participants have to cover the largest distance within a given time, usually 24, 36, 48 hours, or longer, keeping the pause time within 5% of the total walking time. The aim of the study was to evaluate the metabolic, bioenergetics, and psychological characteristics of a world record ultra endurance walker during three different ultra endurance events characterized by different durations (36h, 48h and 70h). 
METHODS: The participant investigated in this study was an experienced male ultra endurance walker (age 41 years; mass 69 kg; height 173 cm), who used always the Nordic walking technique. 
RESULTS: During the 70h event, our walker broke the “Longest Marathon Nordic Walking” Guinness World Record covering 274 km in 70h. An overall time-dependent increase of oxidative stress, as assessed by lipid hydroperoxide levels, was observed in 36h and 48h events. Speed and metabolic cost of walking decreased rather linearly with walking time over all the three events. 
CONCLUSIONS: The study shows how the walker was able to approach the three different ultra endurance events characterized by different durations applying physiological, and psychological strategies allowing him to reach the goal of the completion of each ultra endurance event. 

Autor / Fonte:Anna Pedrinolla, Giovanni Li Volti, Fabio Galvano, Federico Schena, Valentina Perciavalle, Donatella Di Corrado Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 February 22