/ V50 Age Grading

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Jim Hamilton - on 30 Jul 2012
It seems to me that whilst V40 times are often not far off those of younger runners, there seems to be (with exceptions of course) a marked drop off for V50 times. Is this because of the inevitable decline in performance with age, or possibly more because anyone who was any good will have run for many years and so will be knackered or had enough by the time they reach 50 ?
IainRUK - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Jim Hamilton: 40-50 is a big drop. its where aging effects generally come in, from the age of 40 you lose something like 3% of your potential each year or some stat like that..

Late 30's you can still be very close to your peak. But also think people come back to serious sport in their 40's, often after young kids and have time to train properly again..

30-45 seems to be when many runners are around or close to their peak.
bobbybin - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Oh dear, pretty pointless me trying to make a come back then Iain!!
MikeYouCanClimb - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to bobbybin:

It is quite interesting how times of many experienced runners correlate. My times are almost identical to yours. Fortunately my legs are still going and I am not yet injured after thirty years of running. 10k and 10mile pbs are the same but you are 1 min faster at marathon and I am slightly faster at the full marathon.

In line with the stats IanRUK reports, I was best in my late thirties and early forties. Now it requires much more effort to run ever slower.

10k 32min, 10mile 54min, marathon 72min and full marathon 2:36.
bobbybin - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to MikeYouCanClimb: Every time i try and make a come back I end up injured and frustrated. How come your legs are still good!! Guess we're all different, i was never a natural athlete, but had a very good coach and worked very hard. I would love to compete again, cycling never floated my boat even thou i raced for 10 years. That feeling in a running race when u feel like you're floating along but running a pb is incredible
IainRUK - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to bobbybin: How serious were your marathon attempts? 71 half an 2:40 are off.. I think we chatted about this before.. a mate who's 71 half is 2:29 marathon... ~10 slower seems normal.
bobbybin - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Yeah i know, i was defo in sub 2.30 shape but for some reason had a bad patch between 11 and 18 miles, then stormed the last 8 miles!! my 71 was on quite a tough course too. However, my weekly mileage didn't exceed 50 miles, and my longest run was only 19miles so i guess 2.40 was a good effort. My training was quality rather than quantity based.
MikeYouCanClimb - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to bobbybin:

That super smooth running feeling is elusive for me as well, I cant really hit the speed required where it kicks in these days. I am sure I just need to try harder!

Before I started running in my early twenties my knees were in really bad shape, I sometimes had to walk backwards down steep hills on long distance walks and events that I used to do.

In the end, I put my lack of long term injury down to my large amount of training done on the fells and relatively low amount of road training. The big hills gave me strong legs, which turn reduced the strain on my joints.

Apparently you can still build muscle in to your nineties, so still plenty of time left!

My training appears quite different from yours, even though our overall results are similar. My training was obsessively quantity based (quality in my view as I enjoyed it) and not quality (in terms of speed) like yours sounds. I still do over 40 miles a week.
simon cox - on 21 Aug 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

Is there any real science behind when ageing runners "lose it" and what is it you loose, and is there anything you can do to minimise the process? I read "Born to Run" and it suggested you keep your endurance into your early 60s... I am 50 and have been running for 3 years now in the hills now. I felt stronger last year but have struggled a bit in the last 9 months with ectopic heart beats (had loads of tests - nothing allegedly to worry about) and mild chest infections.

Whilst it is obvious that no v50s get close to winning anything of note (happy to be put right on this), I guess most long term runners have lost motivation/ got inured/ got worn out by the time they are 50 so it is hard to work out what a motivated and fresh pair of legs could achieve - are there any inspirational older guys around?

I note that the youngest guy in the top 100 Western States finishing times was 48 - with only one v40 in the 20 fastest times (sob). In the UTMB last year there was only one sub 30 hr v50 finish - I hope to manage this feat myself but all of a sudden am worried about the ageing process!

Cheers,
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Simon Caldwell - on 21 Aug 2012
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
Outside the top runners, in my experience V50s usually seem to outperform V40s. My results certainly got noticeably worse when I became an M45 - not because I was any slower, but because the people I was racing against were on average faster.

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