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Improved performance in master runners competing in the European Championships between 1978 and 2014


Schneider, Anaïs L; Nikolaidis, Pantelis Theodoros; Knechtle, Beat (2019). Improved performance in master runners competing in the European Championships between 1978 and 2014. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 33(9):2559-2569.

Abstract

The performance trends in elite runners have been well investigated, but we have no knowledge about performance trends and the difference between the sexes in elderly runners competing at a high level in varying distances. The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of these age groups. Data from seventeen European Championships held between 1978 and 2014 were analyzed for various race distances (i.e. 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1500 m, 5000 m, 10,000 m and marathon). Running speed for the top 8 female and male finalists for each age group (35-99 years, split into 5 year gaps) and each race distance were included. A two-way analysis of variance compared the effects of sex, race distance, age group and calendar year on speed. Subsequent comparisons between race distances, age groups or calendar years were carried out using a post-hoc Bonferroni test. Our analysis shows that men were faster than women in all distances and the difference between the sexes was greater in the shorter distances. Speed was higher for shorter distances than for longer distances. Younger participants were faster than older ones, and the effect of age group was the largest for the 200 m. There was a minor effect of calendar year on speed in the 100 m, 200 m, 1500 m, 10,000 m and marathon, and a minor calendar year×sex interaction on running speed was shown for the 200 m. For athletes and coaches, the current study demonstrates that both male and female athletes improved their running performance over time and that the sex gap may have reached its limit.

Abstract

The performance trends in elite runners have been well investigated, but we have no knowledge about performance trends and the difference between the sexes in elderly runners competing at a high level in varying distances. The purpose of this study was to investigate the performance of these age groups. Data from seventeen European Championships held between 1978 and 2014 were analyzed for various race distances (i.e. 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 1500 m, 5000 m, 10,000 m and marathon). Running speed for the top 8 female and male finalists for each age group (35-99 years, split into 5 year gaps) and each race distance were included. A two-way analysis of variance compared the effects of sex, race distance, age group and calendar year on speed. Subsequent comparisons between race distances, age groups or calendar years were carried out using a post-hoc Bonferroni test. Our analysis shows that men were faster than women in all distances and the difference between the sexes was greater in the shorter distances. Speed was higher for shorter distances than for longer distances. Younger participants were faster than older ones, and the effect of age group was the largest for the 200 m. There was a minor effect of calendar year on speed in the 100 m, 200 m, 1500 m, 10,000 m and marathon, and a minor calendar year×sex interaction on running speed was shown for the 200 m. For athletes and coaches, the current study demonstrates that both male and female athletes improved their running performance over time and that the sex gap may have reached its limit.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Health Sciences > Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Uncontrolled Keywords:Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 September 2019
Deposited On:08 Aug 2018 13:13
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:27
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:1064-8011
Additional Information:This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Feb 27. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002548. [Epub ahead of print].
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002548
PubMed ID:29489725

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