Lactate threshold and distance-running performance in young and older endurance athletes

W. K. Allen, D. R. Seals, B. F. Hurley, A. A. Ehsani, J. M. Hagberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many well-trained elite older runners have performances comparable to those of much younger nonelite runners. We sought to determine whether the physiological determinants of endurance performance in two groups of such athletes were the same. Eight master athletes (age 56 ± 5 yr) were matched on the basis of 10-km performance and training to younger runners (age 25 ± 3 yr). The master athletes had a 9% lower maximum O2 uptake (V̇O(2max)) (P < 0.05) than the matched young runners, despite the similarity in their performance. Running economy was not different between these groups. However, the master athletes attained a 2.5-mM blood lactate level during steady-state exercise at a higher percentage of their V̇O(2max) (P < 0.05), although both groups attained this lactate level at the same running speed and V̇O2. Thus, despite having significantly lower V̇O(2max) values, the older athletes were able to perform as well as the younger runners because they were able to work closer to their V̇O(2max) for the duration of the race.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1284
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume58
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 1985
Externally publishedYes

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    Allen, W. K., Seals, D. R., Hurley, B. F., Ehsani, A. A., & Hagberg, J. M. (1985). Lactate threshold and distance-running performance in young and older endurance athletes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 58(4), 1281-1284.