Older runners may not have the speed of their younger counterparts, but they do have the same running economy, a study finds.
Running economy is a gauge of how efficiently the body uses oxygen at a given pace. Researchers used various tests to see how age affects factors of running economy.
The 51 male and female participants in the study were sub-elite distance runners who were grouped by age: younger runners ages 18-39, master runners ages 40-59, and older runners ages 60 and older. They were put through a number of tests, including VO2 max (which gauges maximum oxygen consumption), muscle strength and endurance, and running economy.
Running economy was about the same for all groups at various treadmill speeds. Older runners had lower VO2 max compared with master and younger runners. They also had less upper-body strength.
The good news is that older runners are still using oxygen efficiently. The study was published recently in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
-- Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times