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 Older Runners Improve Faster
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:06 am
Runners over age 50 improve more quickly than younger runners, according to a Yale University study. Their results are consistent with other past research on older athletes and the benefits they get from exercise. "You can maintain a very high performance standard into the sixth or seventh decade of life," says the study's lead researcher. That's good news for anyone getting a late start on their running life.

While the data are clear, the reason for the discrepancy between older runners and younger ones is not. One possibility may be that older athletes simply have more room for improvement, because they typically do not use their muscles as much as they did in their youth.

Among older runners, researchers also found significant differences between the improvement rates of men and women. During the sixteen year study period, women aged 50 to 59 improved their marathon times by an average of two minutes per year. Men in the same age group improved their times by just 8 seconds per year on average.

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