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The Age-Related Performance Decline in Marathon Running: The Paradigm of the Berlin Marathon


Nikolaidis, Pantelis T; Alvero-Cruz, José Ramón; Villiger, Elias; Rosemann, Thomas; Knechtle, Beat (2019). The Age-Related Performance Decline in Marathon Running: The Paradigm of the Berlin Marathon. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(11):2022.

Abstract

The variation of marathon race time by age group has been used recently to model the decline of endurance with aging; however, paradigms of races (i.e., marathon running) examined so far have mostly been from the United States. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the age of peak performance (APP) in a European race, the "Berlin Marathon". Race times of 387,222 finishers (women, n = 93,022; men, n = 294,200) in this marathon race from 2008 to 2018 were examined. Men were faster by +1.10 km.h (10.74 ± 1.84 km.h 9.64 ± 1.46 km.h, <0.001, η = 0.065, medium effect size) and older by +2.1 years (43.1 ± 10.0 years 41.0 ± 9.8 years, < 0.001, η = 0.008, trivial effect size) than women. APP was 32 years in women and 34 years in men using 1-year age groups, and 30-34 years in women and 35-39 years in men using 5-year age groups. Women's and men's performance at 60-64 and 55-59 age groups, respectively, corresponded to ~90% of the running speed at APP. Based on these findings, it was concluded that although APP occurred earlier in women than men, the observed age-related differences indicated that the decline of endurance with aging might differ by sex.

Abstract

The variation of marathon race time by age group has been used recently to model the decline of endurance with aging; however, paradigms of races (i.e., marathon running) examined so far have mostly been from the United States. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the age of peak performance (APP) in a European race, the "Berlin Marathon". Race times of 387,222 finishers (women, n = 93,022; men, n = 294,200) in this marathon race from 2008 to 2018 were examined. Men were faster by +1.10 km.h (10.74 ± 1.84 km.h 9.64 ± 1.46 km.h, <0.001, η = 0.065, medium effect size) and older by +2.1 years (43.1 ± 10.0 years 41.0 ± 9.8 years, < 0.001, η = 0.008, trivial effect size) than women. APP was 32 years in women and 34 years in men using 1-year age groups, and 30-34 years in women and 35-39 years in men using 5-year age groups. Women's and men's performance at 60-64 and 55-59 age groups, respectively, corresponded to ~90% of the running speed at APP. Based on these findings, it was concluded that although APP occurred earlier in women than men, the observed age-related differences indicated that the decline of endurance with aging might differ by sex.

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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 > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Physical Sciences > Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Language:English
Date:6 June 2019
Deposited On:26 Jun 2019 12:11
Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 23:48
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1660-4601
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16112022
PubMed ID:31174325

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