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Br J Med Med Res. 2015;8(12):1074-1079.

Aging, Fitness, and Marathon Times in a 91 Year-old Man Who Competed in 627 Marathons.

Author information

1
Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA. ; The Baltimore Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.
2
Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA.

Abstract

Aging is associated with a decline in maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max) that may be attenuated by chronic endurance exercise. This case study chronicles the changes in marathon times in a 91 year old man who completed 627 marathons and 117 ultramarathons over 42 years. He began running marathons at age 48. His yearly best times remained fairly constant at ~240 minutes from age 50 - 64 years and then gradually rose to about 260 minutes in his early seventies followed by a curvilinear deterioration as he approached his ninth decade. His times plateaued at ~ 600 minutes in his late eighties. Between ages 68 and 89 his VO2max declined from 43 to 20 ml/kg/min. His marathon times were highly correlated with his VO2max (r2=0.87). The decline in marathons times and VO2max may reflect the contributions of biological aging, changes in exercise training volume and intensity, injuries, and comorbid disease.

KEYWORDS:

Maximal aerobic capacity; athlete; exercise; longitudinal

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