Let’s Continue Running as We Age

Running is a wonderful activity to enhance our quality of life and more people are running into older ages. This study reported changes in running biomechanics through ages of 20 to 60 years. The goal was to identify potential exercises that might benefit running performance into older years. Stride length and running speed, two important markers of performance, decreased 15 percent over the decades. However, only ankle calf muscles had reduced function. Hip and knee muscles were unchanged, suggesting that strength or power training of the calf muscles may be a way to slow reductions in running biomechanics with age. The yearly rate of decline in calf muscle function, stride length and running speed could be used to track an individual’s current performance level or used as targets for making improvements by coaches, medical personnel, or runners.

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