The Factor Structure of The Decathlon and Heptathlon: Implications for Training Strength, Power, Speed and Endurance

Tim Heazlewood, Daniel Gahreman, Jim Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The decathlon (1) and heptathlon (2) represent one overall event in athletics based on accumulated points from separate events. These athletes are regarded as the best all-round athletes in the world as they have to complete events dependent upon strength, power, speed and endurance. The decathlon and heptathlon enable researchers within the competition context to understand abilities of athletes who compete in strength, power, speed and endurance events simultaneously using objective and quantifiable methods to measure competition performance. The decathlon (3) is contested by male athletes at Olympic Games and World Athletic Championships and is based on ten events which are held on two consecutive days. The first day consists of 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m; and the second day consists of 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m. The heptathlon (4) is contested by female athletes and is similarly conducted over two consecutive days using seven event performances in the following order; the first day consists of the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m; and the second day consists of the long jump, javelin throw and 800m. It appears logical strength, power, speed and some endurance are absolutely vital for successful decathlon performance, as the decathlon consists of three throwing events (shot put, discus and javelin), three sprint events (100m, 400m and 110m hurdles), three jump events (long jump, high jump and pole vault) and an endurance event (1500m). A similar argument would apply to the heptathlon which consists of two throwing events (shot put and javelin), two sprint events (100m hurdles and 200m), two jump events (long jump and high jump) and an endurance event (800m).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-166
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Australian Strength and Conditioning
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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