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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):2971-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318212dd0e.

Aging and factors related to running economy.

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  • 1Department of Kinesiology, Robert Kertzer Exercise Physiology Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA. tjq@unh.edu

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship that age has on factors affecting running economy (RE) in competitive distance runners. Fifty-one male and female subelite distance runners (Young [Y]: 18-39 years [n = 18]; Master [M]: 40-59 years [n = 22]; and Older [O]: 60-older [n = 11]) were measured for RE, step rate, lactate threshold (LT), VO2max, muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, power, and body composition. An RE test was conducted at 4 different velocities (161, 188, 215, and 241 m·min(-1)), with subjects running for 5 minutes at each velocity. The steady-state VO2max during the last minute of each stage was recorded and plotted vs. speed, and a regression equation was formulated. A 1 × 3 analysis of variance revealed no differences in the slopes of the RE regression lines among age groups (y = 0.1827x - 0.2974; R2 = 0.9511 [Y]; y = 0.1988x - 1.0416; R2 = 0.9697 [M]; y = 0.1727x + 3.0252; R2 = 0.9618 [O]). The VO2max was significantly lower in the O group compared to in the Y and M groups (Y = 64.1 ± 3.2; M = 56.8 ± 2.7; O = 44.4 ± 1.7 mlO2·kg(-1)·min(-1)). The maximal heart rate and velocity @ LT were significantly different among all age groups (Y = 197 ± 4; M = 183 ± 2; O = 170 ± 6 b·min(-1) and Y = 289.7 ± 27.0; M = 251.5 ± 32.9; O = 212.3 ± 24.6 m·min(-1), respectively). The VO2max @ LT was significantly lower in the O group compared to in the Y and M groups (Y = 50.3 ± 2.0; M = 48.8 ± 2.9; O = 34.9 ± 3.2 mlO2·kg(-1)·min(-1)). The O group was significantly lower than in the Y and M groups in flexibility, power, and upper body strength. Multiple regression analyses showed that strength and power were significantly related to running velocity. The results from this cross-sectional analysis suggest that age-related declines in running performance are associated with declines in maximal and submaximal cardiorespiratory variables and declines in strength and power, not because of declines in running economy.

PMID:
21982960
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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