Biomechanical Implications of Training Volume and Intensity in Aging Runners
To compare running biomechanics between young and middle-age runners when controlling for the confounding effects of training volume and intensity.Methods
Fifteen middle-age runners, 15 young runners with similar training volume as the middle-age group and, 15 young runners with similar preferred training paces (i.e., intensity) as the middle-age runners participated in the study. Lower-limb joint kinetics were calculated from kinematic and ground reaction force data during overground running at a submaximal speed and compared among groups.Results
Middle-age runners ran with similar peak ankle power compared with volume-matched younger runners although peak plantarflexor moment was 10.5% lower in the middle age group (P = 0.046; Cohen d = 0.78). Middle-age runners ran with similar ankle plantarflexor moment and joint power compared with training pace-matched young runners. As expected, no age-related differences were observed in hip and knee kinetics when training volume or pace were matched between age groups. These results suggest that training pace may be more effective in attenuating age-related declines in plantarflexor kinetics in middle-age runners.Conclusions
From these findings, we propose the hypothesis that both training volume and training pace may play a role in maintaining plantarflexor kinetics but that training pace may have a greater impact on ankle plantarflexor kinetics in middle-age runners.