5 years ago

Effects of increased participation on veteran running performance

Bernard Cerutti, Bengt Kayser

Contrary to elite performance that is approaching an asymptote, recent analyses suggested a trend for improvement in veterans. This might be attributable to a disproportionate increase in older age-group participation. We extracted 26 years (1987–2012) of men’s results of a running event in Switzerland, “La Course de l’Escalade” (7.25 km). We investigated trends in performance by five-year age-groups, taking the 10, 20, 30, and 50 fastest in each group, and then the 1st, 5th, and 10th percentiles. Taking the 10, 20, 30 or 50 fastest runners there was a trend for improvement ranging from 0.07 to 0.22 min·year−1 (p < .0001; 95% CI −0.083 to −0.049 and p < .0001; 95% CI −0.250 to −0.196 respectively) in the elder age-groups. Taking the 1st, 5th, and 10th percentiles there were no trends for improvement, and actual deteriorations up to 0.13 (p < .0001; 95% CI +0.119 to +0.138) min·year−1. Mixed-effect models with repeated measures for runners, confirmed a global deteriorating trend with an estimate of +0.11 min·year−1 (p < .0001; 95% CI +0.107 to +0.116). The results suggest that increases in performance in older runners arise from modifications of sampling from a growing population.

Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2017.1340661

DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2017.1340661

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