Article: article from journal or magazin.
Effects of increased participation on veteran running performance
Journal of sports sciences
Publication Status: aheadofprint
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 1(st), 5(th), and 10(th) 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 1(st), 5(th), and 10(th) 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.
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