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RACING AND AGEING: WHAT IS THE REAL ASSOCIATION?. Michael Turnbull 2 nd November 2005. OVERVIEW. The participation of adults over 40 in competitive sport has increased dramatically. Triathlon has a highly competitive age-group scene. However, ageing will lead to a decline in performance.

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racing and ageing what is the real association

RACING AND AGEING: WHAT IS THE REAL ASSOCIATION?

Michael Turnbull

2nd November 2005

overview
OVERVIEW
  • The participation of adults over 40 in competitive sport has increased dramatically.
  • Triathlon has a highly competitive age-group scene.
  • However, ageing will lead to a decline in performance.
overview3
OVERVIEW
  • Areas to be addressed:
    • Does ageing affect performance?
    • Physiological changes and ageing
    • How trainable are middle-aged athletes?
    • Does intensive exercise pose any health risks?
sporting performance
SPORTING PERFORMANCE
  • Swimming
  • 1500m times decline steadily from the age of 35 onwards.
  • Cycling
  • 40km times decrease at about an average of 20secs (0.6%) a year.
  • Running
  • A declination rate of about 1% per year from the age of 27-47 can be seen in 10km times.
body size
BODY SIZE
  • Height is lost and weight is gained.
  • Height loss can start to occur as early as 35.
  • Weight gain generally begins between 25-45.
body composition
BODY COMPOSITION
  • However, training can attenuate these changes
body composition training

RELATIVE FAT MASS (%)

BODY COMPOSITION & TRAINING
  • Regular training in older athletes can maintain body composition to similar levels as sedentary young people.
strength
STRENGTH
  • Strength can decrease by approximately 1.8% per year from 35 years.
  • Maximal and dynamic strength is reduced.
  • Active people experience a shift towards slow twitch muscle fibres.
  • The total number of muscle fibres and fibre cross sectional areas decrease with age.
strength training
STRENGTH & TRAINING
  • Strength and resistance training is an important aspect.
  • Research has shown that ageing does not impair a person’s ability to increase muscle strength or muscle hypertrophy.
  • Individual muscle fibres also have the ability to grow in size.
cardiovascular function
CARDIOVASCULAR FUNCTION
  • Endurance performance declines with age.
  • Max HR decrease less than 1 beat per year
    • HRmax = [208 – (0.7 x age)]
  • Max stroke volume and cardiac output decrease.
cv function training
CV FUNCTION & TRAINING
  • Studies indicate that CV changes are minimized in older athletes who continue to train.
  • Stroke volume can be maintained in older athletes who have continued to train.
  • Physical inactivity plays a bigger part than the ageing process.
respiratory function
RESPIRATORY FUNCTION
  • Vital capacity and FEV decrease linearly with age
  • Residual volume increases
  • Maximal expiratory ventilation decreases.
  • These are primarily caused by a loss of elasticity in the lung tissue and the chest wall.
  • Total lung volume remains unchanged
vo 2 max
VO2 MAX
  • Aerobic capacity decreases by approximately 1% per year.
  • The primary limiter of VO2 max is the decreased oxygen transport to the muscles.
  • Similar results have been found for highly trained endurance athletes - although the variation is much wider.
vo 2 max training
VO2 MAX & TRAINING
  • High intensity training should not be reduced.
  • High intensity training leads to significantly smaller decreases in VO2 max.
  • Endurance training improves muscle’s oxidative enzyme activities.
exposure to heat
EXPOSURE TO HEAT
  • Older adults are more susceptible to fatal heat injuries.
  • There is a reduction in thermal tolerance and regulation
  • Even when people are matched for body size, comp, VO2 max, and acclimatization, these age related differences persist.
training adaptations
TRAINING ADAPTATIONS
  • Endurance exercise training produces similar gains in healthy people, regardless of their age, sex or initial level of fitness
  • Training cannot halt the process of biological aging, but it can lessen the impact of ageing on performance.
conclusion
CONCLUSION
  • Ageing affects physical performance
  • Cardiorespiratory function, strength and body composition are all impaired with age.
  • It is clear that much of these changes is attributable to inactivity.
  • Physical activity leads to changes that are similar to that seen in young adults.
  • Age is not a barrier!