Age and Performance from 10 Seconds to a 6-Days Race
Purpose: An increasing amount of people are turning to new challenges such as the completion of an ultra-marathon and choose to continue to train intensively despite advanced age. As a result, numerous epidemiological data are available and constitute an experimental model for the research community that studies the effects of aging on physiological functions. The objective of the study is to measure the relationships between age and performance over the entire athletic spectrum from 100 m up to the 6-day ultra-marathon event for men and women.
Method: The Top 50 male and female ages and race speed races of all time were compiled with 12 events ranging from 100 m to 6-day races (N=1200). A second database made up of record race-speeds by age (N=1682) was created for all 12 events and for both genders.
Results: For both genders, a very significant increase (p<0.01) in age for the Top 50 based on race distance is noticeable from the 100 m sprint to the 6-day race, with an even higher climb starting at the marathon. On the other hand, the age range also increases with the running distance for both genders. The area under the curve (AUC) decreases significantly (p<0.01) with the race distance for both genders.
Conclusion: This study measured the impact of aging on the world's best performances ranging from sprints to ultra-endurance events in a context where peak-age performance increases with the distance of the event for both genders.