The January, 2016 issue of The Journal of Aging and Physical Activity includes an article which reviews the literature related to the performance and recovery of masters athletes. While much of the information in this article has been confirmed repeatedly in my own experience, I find it interested to see it couched in the peer-review lingo of this study.
Among the discussions in the article, there are three points that were of interest to me
(1) The number of masters athletes competing in sports is increasing. In addition, their performance relative to their age group has been improving. The increased number of older competitors at the World Masters Games and world-class triathlons are cited.
(2) The aerobic energy system of older athletes show very little difference from the aerobic systems of younger athletes. One reason is that older endurance athletes train their aerobic energy system to a greater level than their anaerobic systems. "...the ability of masters athletes to improve and maintain physical performance through specific systematic training into older age has been demonstrated in recent studies." And through the experience of many masters athletes.
(3) A key question in this study is: Does high-volume training of older athletes lead to longer recovery times and or greater incidence of injuries? "Recovery from physical training is a multi-faceted process..." For this reason, the article concludes that more study is necessary to answer this questions fully.
As always, I urge you to read the article because it touches on many issues that are important to those of us who compete.
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