Masterful Care of the Aging Triathlete

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Current endurance champions are turning in winning performances in their late 30s and 40s. These masters-age athletes present a special challenge to Sport Medicine practitioners who in previous decades have simply advised masters-aged athletes to stop competing to prevent or treat injury. The fact is, many of the physical changes commonly attributed to aging alone are actually due to the rages of sedentary aging. Recently a body of literature emerged which begins to define what we are capable of with chronic high-level exercise and guides masters-age athletes to train and rehab smarter to stay competitive. The factors influencing the relative declines in overall performance in the various sports include both physiological and lifestyle changes. The following review summarizes age and sex-related changes in triathlon performance, the biology of aging as it relates to endurance sport and factors that affect performance in the masters athletes.

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