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Vol. 54, No. 5, 2008
Issue release date: October 2008
Section title: Short Communication
Gerontology 2008;54:268–271
(DOI:10.1159/000148649)

Superior Endurance Performance in Aging Mountain Runners

Burtscher M. · Förster H. · Burtscher J.
aDepartment of Sport Sciences, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, bAustrian Society for Mountain Medicine, and cFaculty of Business Administration, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Short Communication

Received: 4/30/2008
Accepted: 6/16/2008
Published online: 7/25/2008

Number of Print Pages: 4
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Background: Oxygen uptake at the anaerobic threshold (VO2AT) is considered as the main determinant for endurance performance in humans. Endurance performance steeply decreases with aging but seems to be kept exceedingly high in elite mountain runners. Methods: To obtain the age- and gender-related upper limits of endurance performance in this sport, we analyzed the results of the World Masters Athletic Championships in Mountain Running 2007. Additionally, to investigate the relationship between the individual VO2AT values and running times, laboratory tests were performed in 10 mountain runners. Results: The World Championships race times of the first 5 finishers of the 5-year age groups did not differ significantly from 35 to 49 years. The corresponding mean (± SD) values of the VO2AT were 68.0 ± 1.7 ml/min/kg in males and 58.1 ± 1.9 ml/min/kg in females. In the following age groups up to 70+ there was a decrease in the VO2AT of 29.1% in males and 33.9% in females. Conclusion: Thus, at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, elite mountain runners demonstrate that VO2AT and probably also VO2max may be held at top levels in humans up to the age of 45–49 years in both sexes. Despite the following decrease, endurance capacity remains about 3.5-fold higher in elite mountain runners up to 70+ years when compared to their untrained peers.


  

Author Contacts

Prof. Dr. Martin Burtscher
Department of Sport Sciences
Medical Section, University of Innsbruck
Fürstenweg 185, AT–6020 Innsbruck (Austria)
Tel. +43 512 507 4496, Fax +43 512 507 2838, E-Mail martin.burtscher@uibk.ac.at

  

Article Information

Received: April 30, 2008
Accepted: June 16, 2008
Published online: July 25, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 4
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 10

  

Publication Details

Gerontology (International Journal of Experimental, Clinical, Behavioural and Technological Gerontology)

Vol. 54, No. 5, Year 2008 (Cover Date: October 2008)

Journal Editor: Wick G. (Innsbruck)
ISSN: 0304–324X (Print), eISSN: 1423–0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Short Communication

Received: 4/30/2008
Accepted: 6/16/2008
Published online: 7/25/2008

Number of Print Pages: 4
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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