Running Times and Age: Large-Sample Analysis From Four Decades of Repeat Performance
20 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 4, 2020
I measure the relationship between running times and age using a unique data-set in which I track the same runner in the same 10-mile event each year. The sample comprises 55,589 observations from an annual event in which runners participated at least five times on the same course. For each year above the age of 35, male runners slow at an annual rate of 1.1 per cent, and female runners slow at a rate of 0.9 per cent. For male runners the rate of decline is considerably faster than the world record times for age recommended by the USATF for age-grading. The rate of decline is also quicker than the progression of times for popular marathons with qualifying times. For female runners, there is also a notable gap between the typical runner’s age-related performance decline and the world record progression. But for veteran females the age-related decline in performance approximates the age-related adjustments to marathon qualifying times.
Keywords: Running, Age, Masters, Gender
JEL Classification: I10, I19, Z20, Z29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation